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Calls for $1,500 lockdown payment as Victoria shuts down again

·2-min read
COSBOA chief wants the National Cabinet to introduce lockdown payments. (Source: Getty)
COSBOA chief wants the National Cabinet to introduce lockdown payments. (Source: Getty)

The national small business advocacy group has called for government leaders to introduce a ‘lockdown payment’ to help local businesses deal with lost profits as Victoria grapples with its fourth lockdown.

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) is urging the National Cabinet, made up of the Prime Minister and the State and Territory premiers and chief ministers, to introduce a financial assistance program to help businesses forced to go into COVID-19 lockdowns.

This should be modelled on a scheme New Zealand has in place, called the Resurgence Support Payment, which permits eligible businesses to apply for either $1,500 plus $400 per full-time worker or four times the business’ actual revenue fall during lockdown periods, whichever is of lesser value.

COSBOA chief Peter Strong accused Australia of falling behind our Kiwi counterparts and said the National Cabinet “have chosen to turn inwards and play politics”.

“We’re more than twelve months on from the start of the pandemic and have experienced multiple local lockdowns in almost all of our capital cities,” Strong said on Friday.

“We know that they will happen again. There’s no excuse for not having a nationally consistent business support payment ready to be activated when a lockdown is called.”

A jogger runs past a near-deserted Flinder Street Station during the morning rush hour in Melbourne on May 28, 2021, as the city's residents returned to a seven day lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
A jogger runs past a near-deserted Flinder Street Station during the morning rush hour in Melbourne on May 28, 2021, as the city's residents returned to a seven day lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The seven-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown will be Victoria’s fourth since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March last year.

From 11:59pm Thursday 27 May until 11:59pm Thursday 3 June, Victorian residents may not leave their homes unless it is for one of five reasons.

The lockdown is estimated to cost Victorian businesses $1 billion, and more than 15,000 people are already in isolation amid a growing list of more than 120 exposure sites.

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