Federal Government co-funds further business support for NSW and Victoria

The new business support packages announced today by the NSW and Victorian governments, co-funded by the Federal Government, are to be welcomed, and represent an appropriate step-up in fiscal support commensurate with the economic pressures businesses in both jurisdictions are facing.

These additional support packages announced today, combined with the existing support provided by the Commonwealth Government, form an underpinning for individuals and businesses that aligns to the recovery path of this pandemic.

Targeted, proportionate fiscal support is more appropriate today in an environment where the end of the pandemic is visible, compared to broad-based, generous support which was more required in the early part of the pandemic when uncertainty and risk was the greatest.

It is for this reason that I believe JobSaver is the right solution for today rather than a re-introduction of JobKeeper, as has been called for in some quarters.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing in both New South Wales and Victoria the Federal Government is contributing to economic support programs in both states.

The Federal, NSW and Victorian Governments have announced further economic support packages – to be co-funded for both states, following the extension of COVID-19 restrictions.

In NSW, additional funding has been announced for the JobSaver program, while in Victoria the funding has been applied to the Victorian Business Support package, which includes the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund and the Business Continuity Fund.

The NSW Government extended its current COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday for four weeks, while the Victorian Government ended its lockdown but left restrictions in place across multiple industries.

The Prime Minister advised that the same arrangement would also be available to South Australia.

Commonwealth disaster payment

The Prime Minister announced an extension to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment across NSW. From next week it will increase from $600 to $750 per week if people have lost more than 20 hours and from $375 to $450 if people have lost less than 20 hours.

It will be available from day one of any potential lockdown in the future, with claims made from day eight in arrears for the previous seven days. A weekly payment will then be made for the duration of the hotspot declaration.

Individuals who currently receive an income support payment through our social security safety net will receive a weekly payment of $200, in addition to their existing payment, if they can demonstrate they have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

NSW JobSaver payment

The NSW JobSaver payment has been increased with businesses now able receive between $1,500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000.

The payments are based on 40 percent of a business’s weekly NSW payroll, with employee headcounts needing to be maintained.

Business eligibility for the payments has also changed, with the t maximum turnover threshold to be increased.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says more than 14,000 applications have been received since the program opened for applications on Monday.

Businesses are expected to receive the first payments by 31 July, with close to $28 million approved for payment so far.

Non-employing business remain eligible for a maximum of $1,000 per week, according to Mr Perrottet.

Victorian Business Support package

The Victorian Business Support Package, as announced on Wednesday, is to provide $400 million in funding for grants under the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund and the Business Continuity Fund.

According to Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas, small businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million who have experienced a 70 per cent or greater reduction in revenue will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000, under the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.

The Business Continuity Fund will provide $5,000 grants to up to 30,000 businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Pallas says CBD businesses will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000 in recognition of reduced foot traffic due to office density limits.

The Victorian Government also announced a Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund, with grants of up to $20,000 to be made available to affected businesses, with an additional $2,000 for CBD businesses.

In addition, the Alpine Business Support Program will provide grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to 430 Alpine-based businesses.


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