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COVID-19 Stimulus Packages: What You Need to Know

The Government has announced several stimulus packages to support Australians during the Coronavirus pandemic. The first was a $17.6 billion investment package to support the economy, focusing on business investment, sustaining employers and driving cash into the economy. This was shortly followed by a $66.1 billion package to boost income support payments, changes to superannuation rules, and provide cash flow support for small business employers. On March 30 the Government announced a further $130 billion JobKeeper payment.

These stimulus measures are not yet legislated. The Prime Minister informed the country that there are no “quick solutions”, asking businesses to prepare for at least six months of disruption. Find out what is included in these stimulus packages, for individuals and businesses.

For individuals

  • Household stimulus payment to drive cash into the economy (welfare recipients will receive two separate payments of $750, once in March and another in June)
  • Early release of superannuation – individuals are able to access up to $10,000 of the superannuation this financial year, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. These withdrawals are tax-free and have no affect on Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs payments
  • A temporary Coronavirus supplement of $550 will be paid to existing income support recipients (this will be on top of their regular fortnightly payments for 6 months)
  • Waiting periods and asset tests have been temporarily waived
  • Temporary reduction to superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21
  • Reducing social security deeming rates – as of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25%, and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25%

For business

  • Tax-free payments up to $100,000 for small business and not-for-profit employers
  • Temporary 6 month increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive
  • Wage subsidy of up to 50% of an apprentice or trainee wage
  • Increase to the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 an expanded access to included businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million
  • Increase and extension of the instant asset write-off
  • Accelerated depreciation deductions
  • A Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, guaranteeing 50% of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs
  • Assistance to support the sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionally affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus
  • The JobKeeper Payment – employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees to keep more Australians in jobs

For more information on the support available for Australian workers and businesses: