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Coronavirus stimulus package offers tax free payments to jobseekers

Boggabri Coal Mine workers
Boggabri Coal Mine workers

Mineworkers will have the ability to claim two major relief payments if they find themselves in between jobs because of COVID-19.

Jobseekers, who are experiencing financial stress, have been allowed early access to up to $20,000 from their individual superannuation funds as part of the Federal Government’s $189 billion coronaviruses (covid-19) stimulus package.

$20,000 payment

The MyGov website is taking applications for up to $10,000 for the 2020 financial year no later than June 30, while requests for a further maximum payout of $10,000 will be accepted after July 1.

No tax will be payable on any amount released from superannuation funds, and the payments will also not affect existing Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. Anyone already receiving a social security, veteran and other income support payment will also receive a $750 coronavirus supplement payment on March 31 plus a further $750 on July 13.

Retain staff

The Federal Government is separately providing up to $100,000 in tax free payments to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profit organisations with paid employees to keep operating, pay rent, utilities and retain staff.

Employers will receive the equivalent of all salary and wages withheld, with a maximum tax free payment of $50,000 available from April 28. This incentive is promised to encourage businesses to retain workers in order to receive a payment.

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“We know this will be temporary,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a public statement. “That is why all our actions are geared towards building a bridge, keeping more people in work, enhancing the safety net for those that are not and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side and stand up their workforce as quickly as possible.”

The economic support package is worth 9.7 per cent of the national gross domestic product.

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