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COVID-19 cash: More support for millions on Centrelink confirmed

·3-min read
Gladys Berejiklian speaks at COVID-19 press conference, close up of hands holding wallet with Australian cash, Sydney city.
Sydney's lockdown will extend for another four weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed, with more financial support on its way. (Images: Getty).

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed more cash is on its way for locked down Sydneysiders, with the state’s lockdown now due to continue until late August.

The payments will flow to people receiving payments from Centrelink including JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.

Previously, this group of people were ineligible to access the $375 - $600 weekly COVID-19 Disaster Payments as they were deemed to already be receiving Commonwealth support.

However, advocates argued that this was unfair as people on JobSeeker may have been using casual work to top up their government payments.

That meant that even if they were receiving the highest JobSeeker payment, their weekly income would have fallen to $310.40 without their casual work.

Berejiklian said the new payment system will see people receiving Centrelink payments now also receive a top-up payment from the Government.

“People in existing allowances will also get a top up to make sure you keep going during the next month,” Berejiklian said.

“We fought for our citizens and we have received additional funding support from the Commonwealth and I do want to thank the Prime Minister and the Federal Treasurer for providing that extra support.”

She said Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go into more details on the expansion of the COVID-19 Disaster Payments later on Wednesday.

“People should not feel stressed about their financial position. We certainly do not want people joining the unemployment queue, quite the contrary,” she said.

“We want people to rely on these payments for the next four weeks, whether you are a business, an individual or someone to get a part payment already, please know, you will be supported during this time and the Prime Minister will make a formal announcement about this in the next few hours.”

Sydney businesses get $100,000 JobSaver boost

Sydney businesses will now be eligible for maximum weekly payments of $100,000, based on 40 per cent of a business’ payroll, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced. That’s an increase from a maximum weekly payment of $10,000.

Additionally, JobSaver payments will now be made available to businesses that have seen revenue declines of 30 per cent, with annual turnovers of between $75,000 and $250 million.

Previously, businesses with turnovers above $50 million were excluded.

“That will ensure that businesses, the cash flow and financial support is there so they can get through this,” Perrottet said.

“We have made it clear that businesses can't reduce headcount. We want to make sure that workers remain connected to their businesses as we move through this lockdown period.”

Applications for the JobSaver scheme opened on Monday, with more than 14,000 businesses already seeking support. Some $28 million has since been approved for payment, with businesses to receive the money from 31 July.

Sole traders remain eligible for $1,000 weekly support payments.

The NSW government expects the program will now cover 400,000 businesses employing 3.3 million workers. 

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance
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