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COVID-19 rescue package revealed: What you’ll get

·4-min read
Empty Circular Quay in Sydney due to lockdown, close up of Australian cash, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed new payments for Australians affected by COVID-19. (Images: Getty).
  • COVID-19 disaster payments for individuals increase to $375, $600 a week.

  • Individual payments available across NSW, not just hotspots.

  • Businesses eligible for up to $10,000 in weekly support payments.

Residents in NSW affected by the lockdown will be eligible for payments of up to $600 a week as part of a major new support package.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the payments on Tuesday afternoon following discussions with state treasurers over the weekend, amid NSW’s worsening COVID-19 crisis.

Residents currently receiving $500 in the COVID-19 disaster payments will see their payments increased to $600, while those receiving $325 will now be eligible for $375 a week.

As before, the higher payment is open to those who lost more than 20 hours of work in a week, while the lower payment is for those who lost between eight and 20 hours. 

This payments will kick in from the fourth week of a lockdown, and will now be available to residents across NSW - regardless of whether they reside in a hotspot, provided they meet the other eligibility criteria. 

Previously, Australians were only eligible for the payments if they lived in a federal-defined COVID-19 hotspot, did not have access to paid leave and had lost income due to lockdown restrictions.

Additionally, workers who previously had to reapply for the payments will now receive the payments automatically. 

The payments are not specific to NSW, with any further lockdowns across Australia to attract similar support measures.

NSW residents have already received more than 110,000 payments.

Australians can also access $1,500 in pandemic leave payments if they have been told to isolate for 14 days by a health authority, due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.

$10,000 weekly business payments

Businesses will also be able to access increased grants of $1,500 - $10,000 a week as the state government tries to stem small and medium sized businesses' financial haemorrhaging.

Businesses with turnovers of $75,000 to $50 million are eligible for the payments if their turnover has fallen by at least 30 per cent, compared to the same two-week period in 2019. 

 The payments are designed to cover 40 per cent of their NSW payroll. Businesses must show that they have not laid off staff to access the payments. 

Sole traders are eligible for $1,000 a week. 

Businesses can register their interest as of Wednesday 14 July at Service NSW.

Businesses with turnovers of less than $75,000 but greater than $30,000 will be eligible for $1,500 per fortnight, while businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million will be able to defer all payroll tax liabilities.

Previously, businesses were eligible for one-off grants of between $5,000 and $10,000.

New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government will be working as "quickly as possible" to deliver the payments to businesses. 

"We want those funds out the door as quickly as possible, but importantly this provides certainty to businesses that they can keep their staff on. That’s why all our programs have ensured on application you must make sure that you do not reduce your headcount," Perrottet said.

"We are going to get through this. It’s a difficult time but we want to keep as much cashflow going into businesses as during this time and we believe that the quantum of this program, this unprecedented investment, will ensure we’ll get through the other side stronger than ever."

NSW records 89 cases of COVID-19

An empty CBD on a normally busy Saturday afternoon on July 10, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
Lockdown restrictions are in place across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong as NSW health authorities work to contain the growing COVID-19 cluster. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

Australia’s most populous state recorded 89 new locally acquired cases on Monday, Berejiklian confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Sydney City, Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountain, the Central Coast and Wollongong is now entering its third week of lockdown, with little sign the strict lockdown requirements will end as planned on Friday 16 July.

Essential workers in Greater Sydney and surrounding lockdown regions are now required to get tested for the illness every seven days, while those in Fairfield must be tested every three days to monitor the spread. 

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Image: Yahoo Finance
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