Six and half million Australians will be paid $750 directly into their bank accounts in the fortnight starting 31 March 2020. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government will pump $17.63 billion into the Australian economy to fight off the financial impact on Australians from the spreading coronavirus. Scott Morrison said the economic stimulus package recognised that business drives the economy and most of the $17 billion would be aimed at keeping Australians in jobs. Much of the rest of the package will be paid as cash to 6.5 million Australians who receive Centrelink payments, including Family Tax Benefits. There is no application needed for this money. It will be paid directly to people in addition to their current payments. Casual workers get sickness payment for coronavirus Casual workers who can’t attend work because of coronavirus can get instant access to Centrelink’s Jobseeker (Sickness) payment without waiting periods. The waiting period will be waived for sickness benefits for all people diagnosed with coronavirus or forced into quarantine. Deeming rates cut by 0.5% The govt is lowering pensioner deeming rates to recognise the RBA’s lower interest rates and the low rates being paid by banks and credit unions on term deposits and savings accounts. 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. Compare savings account rates at InfoChoice and keep up to date with the best savings rates at InfoChoice. Business gets support “We want to reward Australian business for investing,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “We want to keep Australians in jobs.” “We keep business in business and ready to bounce back on the other side.” “This boost will add 1.2% to GDP in the initial phase, when its needed. This is front end loaded. Over the next three months when we are going to see the most significant impacts from coronavirus.” “An employer with an apprentice on the 1 March 2020 will get a backdated payment from 1 January right through to 1 September 2020. “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. The treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this economic crisis “is very different from the GFC [in 2008]. “This is a health crisis and monetary policy globally is pretty much exhausted. “It’s a different situation but there is an alignment between this government and the RBA about getting money out the door.” Government support for business: The government’s stimulus package includes: Increasing the Instant Asset Write Off limit from $30,000 to $150,000. “Any purchase now until June 30, a truck, a tractor, a shop fit-out can be written off immediately,” said the treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Grants of up to $25,000 for 690,000 small and medium businesses, paid through the tax office to businesses with less than $50 million turnover. Wage subsidies of $21,000 for apprentices for employers (under 20 employees). 117,000 apprentices and trainees will have wage support for nine months. A $1 billion Coronavirus fund for businesses in regional and remote areas and areas most affected by coronavirus. That includes tourism, travel, export oriented businesses. The prime minster named crayfishing businesses in Geraldton as an example of businesses particularly impacted by coronavirus fears. The package will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses in marine parks and additional support from Austrade for tourism businesses. The prime minister Scott Morrison said he wanted to acknowledge big businesses such as Qantas, Telstra and the big abnks for responding to the coronavirus threat to Australia. These measures do not extend past 30 June 2021 said the prime minister Scott Morrison. Australian economic outlook 2020 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 also pointed out that the Australian economy faces challenges including travel disruptions caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. 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.” Keep up to date with the latest interest rates outlook at InfoChoice.