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Prime Minister and Premier unveil billion-dollar per fortnight rescue package

Article image for Prime Minister and Premier unveil billion-dollar per fortnight rescue package

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have announced details of further financial help for Sydney households and businesses.

For individuals, from week four of the lockdown the COVID disaster payment will be increased from $325 per week to $375 for those who have lost between eight and 20 hours of work, and from $500 to $600 for those who have lost over 20 hours.

This will be available through Centrelink and will be paid weekly for the duration of the lockdown: applications open on Friday for the Sydney LGAs first to be locked down.

The payment will be supplemented by the NSW government, to be made available statewide.

For businesses of up to $50 million per year turnover, a joint state-Commonwealth cash sum of up to 40 per cent of payroll expenses will be paid directly through Service NSW.

Payments are made fortnightly starting at $1500 per week and maxing out at $10,000 per week.

Sole traders are eligible for $1000 per week.

The program is expected to cost half a billion dollars per week, split evenly between governments, Mr Morrison said.

The Commonwealth will also fund additional mental health support with a $12.25 million boost.

The Prime Minister acknowledged “an upgraded set of arrangements” are required in NSW in the face of an extended lockdown, equivalent to spending during Victoria’s second-wave lockdown late last year.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian hoped the payments would give “peace of mind” to businesses and individual to follow health orders.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced further state-specific support, including the deferral of payroll tax liabilities for two months.

Grants for small and medium businesses will be taken from $10,000 to $15,000.

Microbusinesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 will now be eligible for $1500 per fortnight, dating back to the first week of lockdown.

An eviction moratorium on commercial and retail rentals will be reinstated, and landlords will be eligible for either a land tax rebate or $1500 per week if they offer tenants a rent reduction.

4000 additional temporary accommodation places will be made available for those sleeping rough.

Joining Jim Wilson following the announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a post-lockdown extension is “not the intention” of the package.

“Once we get out of lockdown, you’ll see the NSW economy roar back.”

Press PLAY below to hear the details and full interview with the Prime Minister

Image: Nine News


Jim Wilson