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PM ditches major hurdle to accessing $500 payments

·2-min read
Scott Morrison has waived the asset test for the $500 lockdown payments. (Source: Getty)
Scott Morrison has waived the asset test for the $500 lockdown payments. (Source: Getty)

The Prime Minister has removed a major hurdle to accessing the $500 payments for people who have lost working hours due to lockdown restrictions.

Previously, workers wanting to claim the $500 COVID-19 Disaster Payment must have lost more than 20 hours of work and meet the liquid asset test, meaning they can’t have more than $10,000 in assets such as savings or shares banked up.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced that this asset test will be waived from week three of a lockdown onwards, which Sydney has now entered.

"It doesn't matter what funds you have available to you in your bank account or that you can readily convert to cash," Morrison said.

"[We are] recognising that we're not just dealing with a one-week period or a two-week period, that this is now going into a third week with further decisions to be taken."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

However, Australians should know that they will still need to prove they have lost working hours in order to access the payments.

Eligible Australians who normally work less than 20 hours a week can receive $325 for each week of lockdown (after the initial seven days).

Those who have lost more than 20 hours are eligible for $500.

On top of that, the Federal Government is also pausing mutual obligations for people who get welfare payments in the Greater Sydney area.

PM of Sydney': ScoMo under fire

Many on social media reacting to the news were quick to criticise the Prime Minister’s move, pointing out that this privilege was not available during Victoria's lockdown earlier this year, which prompted the $500 payments in the first place.

"That bastard has changed the rules for NSW," one tweeted. "What a mongrel slap in the face for all Victorians!"

"Morrison is the PM of Sydney," another said. "He just scraped the liquid asset test for NSW, while Vic folk had to use their savings."

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