The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is getting out of control, with the affected people in Australia exceeding 150 as of today, and the death rate at 3 people. The Australian economy is quite vulnerable to the shock, and the Australian dollar had fallen drastically due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
This week, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Coalition government unveils a $8.7bn stimulus package for Australian businesses in order to stimulate the economy and prevent a looming recession.
“Keep Businesses in Business and Australians in Jobs”
The package includes cash payments for businesses, wage subsidies for apprentices, assistance for households with direct cash payments for households all expected to be worth more than $15 billion. The main focus of this stimulus is to “keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs”. This payment will be available for business with a turnover of less than $50 million and is created to help pay for wages or for investment to protect against downturn inactivity.
Additionally, the eligible business that withholds tax for the Australian Tax Office on employee’s salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 50% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $25000 and a minimum of $2000. This scheme is set to benefit 690 000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people.
The government has made apprentices a focus of the business package, with a new subsidy made available for employers in a bid to keep about 120 000 apprentices in a job. The wage subsidy will amount to 50% of the apprentice’s wage until the end of September.
The final element of this package is an expansion of the instant asset write-off aimed at “supercharging” the sale of new tools, cars, utes, industrial and kitchen equipment. Hence the asset write off will be increased from 30,000 to a whopping $150,000.00
The measure is expected to be worth $700 million and is estimated to help 3.5 million businesses. The Prime Minister has said the stimulus package was focused on ensuring the continuity of workers and businesses so the country “can bounce back strongly” so the the “livelihoods of all Australians are protected.”
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