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PM promises more Covid-19 handouts

PM promises more Covid-19 handouts. Source: Getty
PM promises more Covid-19 handouts. Source: Getty

The Prime Minister has all but confirmed there will be further support measures for Australia’s battered economy when JobKeeper and the Coronavirus Supplement end in September.

Despite previously confirming these measures were only budgeted for six months and would therefore end in September, Scott Morrison said in a press conference on Wednesday that there would be a further phase of support beyond that.

“There will be a further phase of how we continue to provide support, and as I was able to assure the Premier the other night, just like I can assure people in industries or in businesses or parts of the country that are more affected by Covid than others, where there is the need, then there will continue to be support,” Morrison said.

“And so this is about tailoring a national program to provide support where the support is needed and because of what has happened in Victoria, obviously the need there will be far greater than was previously and that need will be met.”

$75 billion cliff ahead

The Prime Minister’s announcement comes as almost half of all Aussie homeowners say they will struggle to meet their loan repayments when JobKeeper ends.

And, with the Australian Banking Association (ABA) reporting that $175.5 billion in loans has been paused due to Covid-19 hardship, that means the potential default figure could be up to a whopping $75 billion, according to Mozo research.

“As a nation of mortgage holders we look set to walk off a financial cliff when government and industry support programs end,” said Mozo spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

“With many Australians finding themselves out of work and many more having to accept reduced hours, JobKeeper and the banks’ mortgage holidays are critical in ensuring people can stay in their homes.”

Australia’s major banks announced on Wednesday they would extend the home loan holiday scheme, allowing distressed borrows to pause loan repayments for another four months.

"This new phase of support avoids a cliff which would have been a terrible outcome for customers and had a negative impact on the economy,” ABA chief Anna Bligh said.

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