Prime Minster Scott Morrison has announced plans to offer financial support to Victorian workers who have been impacted by the recent covid-19 enforced lockdown. The fresh lockdown has resulted in the immediate closure of venues and the loss of jobs in a number of different industries particularly retail, hospitality, events and tourism.
The Australian Government has outlined plans to support Victorians who typically work 20 hours or more a week.
Scott Morrison announced that the federal government will be enacting a temporary covid-19 disaster payment which will result in many Victorian workers earning up to $500 a week.
$500 will be given to workers who do over 20 hours a week and $325 will be offered to workers who usually work under 20 hours a week.
Recipients must be older than 17 years of age and they must be a permanent resident or currently on a working visa. To be eligible for the payment, the individual must work or reside in a Commonwealth-defined hotspot and must be unable to attend work due to covid-19 restrictions.
Recipients are always unable to be receiving any other form of income or pandemic support. They must also have liquid assets of under $10,000.
This system of support is expected to form a new part of the government’s national framework for future scenarios where there are lockdowns imposed by state, public or health orders.
These arrangements will provide support for periods of time where the lockdown has been longer than seven days. This means that the first seven days of a lockdown are matters entirely for state and territory governments to offer financial support. After the seven days if the lockdown is extended the federal government will than move to offer support to Australians impacted by the lockdown.
Victorians who are wishing to apply for and claim the $500 or $325 support payment can apply through Centrelink via a similar process which is commonly used to assist Australians who are impacted by national disasters such as floods or bushfires.
Only Greater Melbourne is currently listed as a coronavirus hotspot, this means regional Victorians are excluded from the payment.
Support Measures Offered to Victorian Workers by The State Government
In response to the recent lockdown, last month the Victorian Government has announced a $250.7 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to provide financial assistance for up to 90,000 Victorian businesses that have been impacted by the recent outbreak of covid-19.
The Victorian Government has stated that it is especially trying to help businesses most affected this time around, which includes operators in the hospitality, events, retail and creative industries by giving them additional targeted support.
Victorian businesses are going about their business of doing the right thing by shutting their doors during the latest covid-19 lockdown to keep Victorians safe. There is no denying however, it is another slap in the back for many struggling to keep their businesses afloat and financially viable.
The package features three initiatives for small to medium-sized businesses and sole traders.
The circuit-breaker action will keep Victorians safe and protect businesses and jobs but it’s not easy for businesses to shut their doors and put their plans on hold.
This support aims to help businesses pay the bills and maintain their workforce as best they can, as we work together to get through this challenge.
The $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program will offer grants of $2,500 for eligible businesses directly impacted by the circuit-breaker industry restrictions. These businesses include; restaurants and cafes, event suppliers, accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
A $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will provide businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises.
A further allocation of $20 million will be dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions, with more details to be provided shortly.
The Victorian Government commended businesses across the state by saying that “Victorian businesses have shown amazing resilience and determination over the past 15 months, and this package will provide meaningful support where it is most needed.”
The Victorian Government says that operators eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payment will be contacted directly by email in coming days.
Another brand-new package builds on more than $6 billion in direct economic support from the state government to help businesses get through the pandemic, including through three rounds of the Business Support Fund.
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