Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is encouraging Australian workers to check their eligibility for the Covid-19 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, as the Omicron variant soars through the community, setting new records for the number of daily cases seen in every state and territory across the country.
The $750 payment is available for eligible persons for each seven-day period they’ve been told to self-isolate or quarantine, or if they’re caring for someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Payment seekers must make a new claim for each seven-day period.
Scott Morrison has said that the financial measures are already in place for people who are forced to quarantine because of a state government requirement.
“It’s been an important tool that we’ve had … and large numbers of Australians have done that. I encourage people to become familiar with the supports that are in place. The support is already there for those who are in that situation where they’re forced to isolate,” says Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Tips for Applying For Covid-19 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments
To be eligible for the payment, the following criteria must apply to you:
- you can’t work and earn an income
- you have no sick leave entitlements
- you’re directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a state or territory health department, a person employed by a state or regional department of health or a person from state and territory department of education acting as a contact tracer
These agencies must have told you specifically to self-isolate or quarantine due to being diagnosed with COVID-19, being identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of covid-19, or needing to care for someone who has been diagnosed with or is a close contact of a confirmed case of covid-19.
Rise In Covid-19 Cases Triggers A Decrease In Early Year Spending
ANZ is reporting a huge decrease in early year spending across the country when compared to previous years. The caution in spending is a result of the significant spread of the Omicron variant of covid-19 especially in NSW where spending in the week to 2 January was 25 per cent lower year-on-year.
However, ANZ Research senior economist Adelaide Timbrell emphasises the recent drop is nowhere near lockdown levels.
“I don’t think it’s cause for too much concern for the 2022 outlook of spending yet. The Omicron caution is something that’s going to develop and change quickly. The good signs for spending in 2022 are that people are shifting their spending online rather than just not spending altogether, particularly for discretionary categories like non-food retailing and dining,” says ANZ Research senior economist Adelaide Timbrell.
“We’ve also seen that in the 2021 retail data that Victorians actually had a much smaller impact from Delta lockdowns compared to people in NSW and the ACT, and I think that speaks to the fact that when people – whether it’s businesses or consumers – have more experience with lockdowns, it tends to mean that they have a smaller spending impact each time,” continued Ms. Timbrell.
The author of ANZ’s spending data wrap-up adds Victoria’s spending was down 19 percent and Queensland’s was down 17 percent, although the rest of the country was not hit as badly.
“But if this caution does continue and we do see people stay at home more due to Omicron or not spend as much on hospitality and other retailing, that may be something that has an impact. It is just too early to tell right now. There’s a big difference between staying home for New Year’s and an economic crash, and I think we’ve just got to really remember that when we look at this data,” says Adelaide Timbrell.
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