Expert Opinion Panel
Jason Bryce – Business & Finance
ScoMo’s $750 cash handout
Single mums and other Centrelink beneficiaries will be paid $750 directly into their bank accounts in the fortnight starting 31 March 2020. Everyone on Newstart (Jobseeker), Parenting Payment Single, Family Tax Benefits, DSP and other Centrelink payments will get the cash automatically without applying or qualifying.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is pumping $17 billion into Australian families and businesses to fight off the impact from the spreading coronavirus.
Australia has 122 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far according to the World Health Organisation. There are 118 thousand confirmed cases worldwide with 4,292 deaths already attributed to the deadly flu-like virus.
Casual workers get sickness payment for coronavirus
Casual workers who can’t attend work because of coronavirus will get instant access to Centrelink’s Jobseeker (Sickness) payment without the normal waiting periods that now apply. Income and asset tests still apply.
Deeming rates cut by 0.5%
Single mums on Parenting Payment Single, DSP or the aged pension who have money in the bank or investments are affected by Centrelink’s deeming rate.
The deeming rate is what Centrelink ‘deems’ you earn on your savings or investments.
The government has lowering Centrelink deeming rates following the Reserve Bank’s rate cut last week. Many banks and credit unions are paying very low rates on term deposits and savings accounts at the moment.
What is the Centrelink deeming rate?
The deeming rate for the first $51,800 of financial assets is 1% for singles and 3% over $51,800.
For couples (with at least one person on the pension), the deeming rate is 1% on the first $86,200 of combined financial assets and 3% on funds over $86,200.
Trainees and apprentices get support
“We want to keep Australians in jobs,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.
“An employer with an apprentice on the 1 March 2020 will get a backdated payment from 1 January right through to 1 September 2020,” said the prime minister.
These payments will be wage subsidies of $21,000 (or about 50% of apprentice wages) for employers (with less than 20 employees) with apprentices or trainees. The government says 117,000 apprentices and trainees will have wage support for nine months.
“The best way to thank small and medium sized businesses is to back their decision to back these apprentices.
“This is about relief but also about recovery,” said Mr Morrison.
Other government support to fight coronavirus
The government’s coronavirus economic stimulus package includes a lot of money directed at small and medium business and businesses in affected regional and remote areas. Businesses in industries that have been particularly affected will also qualify for support.
Increasing the Instant Asset Write Off limit from $30,000 to $150,000.
Grants of up to $25,000 for 690,000 small and medium businesses, paid through the tax office to businesses with turnovers of less than $50 million. The details of this part of the package are yet to be finalised with states.
A $1 billion Coronavirus fund for businesses in regional and remote areas and tourism, travel, export oriented businesses.
None of these measures extend past 30 June 2021 said the prime minister Scott Morrison.
Last week the International Monetary Fund said the Australian economy was being supported by “monetary policy easing [low interest rates], tax cuts, and the recovery of housing markets”.
The IMF said Australia faces challenges including travel disruptions caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. But the IMF also noted that Australian property market outlook has finished ‘cooling’ and “a rapid recovery in the housing market could boost private consumption and residential investment.”
Find out more about Centrelink’s deeming rate in an article written by Jason at InfoChoice.
Jason is an expert business, finance and consumer issues journalist specialising in personal finance, debt, consumer issues and banking, Jason is now based in Melbourne and works as a journalist for InfoChoice.com.au Previously Jason has worked for ABC TV, News Ltd and plenty of magazines and online publishers. You can keep up to date with the latest Centrelink news and information at Jason’s Facebook page, Centrelink News and check out the best children’s savings accounts here.
Jason is a proud single dad of three children who are all growing up fast. Follow Jason on Twitter @JasonBryce. Jason’s personal website is www.jasonbryce.com