PM flags further support measures ahead of possible second wave

New support measure will be extended beyond Victoria as second wave threatens.

prime minister scott morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged another round of stimulus measures ahead of the “fiscal cliff” we risk toppling over as Victoria’s second wave threatens a national recovery.

The PM and Treasury are pondering a new version of JobKeeper to run past the initial September finish date and may bring forward tax cuts and the possible extension of insolvency protections, reports Investor Daily.

“There will be a further phase of how we continue to provide support … in industries or in businesses or parts of the country that are more affected by COVID than others, then where there is the need, then there will continue to be support,” said Mr Morrison.

“And so this is about tailoring a national program to provide support where the support is needed.”

Measures are likely to be extended for the tourism sector and airlines, which have seen massive job losses due to restrictions on both international and domestic travel.

And although Victorian businesses will suffer from the lockdown extension for another six weeks, the PM confirmed that new stimulus measures will not be limited exclusively to Victorians.

“We’re running a national programme of support,” he said.

“That national programme of support will give people in the same areas of need the same support. It’s not a state-based programme or anything like that, in the same way it has operated up until now. It’s been something that has operated nationally and something that has been directed towards businesses that have had that fall-off in turnover and to their employees, and similarly JobSeeker is applied across the nation.”

Leading economists have long been warning of ending stimulus too early.

“While government has rolled out significant stimulus to date, the fact that hidden unemployment is still substantial is in itself proof that the stimulus hasn’t been big enough to stop unemployment rising, and it’s concerning to hear talk about spending less in the second half of the year than in the first half,” Australia Institute chief economist Dr Richard Denniss told the Senate.

“The only thing keeping the economy afloat is the increase in government spending, yet the government is promising to cut that in the second half of the year – the consequences of that are disastrous.”

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg also flagged more income support beyond September.

The first thing to say is that the JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs are already legislated to the end of September. So, even with the six-week lockdown [in Victoria] announced by Premier Andrews, that takes it out to the end of August,’’ said Mr Frydenberg.

But after that, there’s going to be that really awkward and tough reopening measures again, which might last a couple of months past that.

Yes, and there’s going to be another phase of income support. The details of which will be announced on July 23. We recognise that some sectors are going to recover more slowly than others. For example, the tourism sector as a result of the international borders being closed. We’ve announced a number of sector-wide specific packages for housing, for the arts, for tourism."

Many major banks have also announced further support measures beyond the first round of assistance, extending loan holidays and creating flexibility around debt repayments.

“Those who are able to repay their loans will resume doing so, which is in the best interests of those customers and allows support to be directed to those who need it,” said Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh.

“Encouragingly, many customers have already chosen to resume making repayments… This next phase of bank support will avoid a ‘cliff’ for customers in September and give them the breathing space they need to work with their bank and get back on their feet financially.”

Do you or does someone you know need more help beyond the initial September cessation of support?

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    COMMENTS

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    mrswig
    10th Jul 2020
    10:21am
    i agree with the extra stimulus for the people who have lost their jobs because of the virus but not for the people who have been collecting centrelink payments for over 12mths and havent bothered to get work, they are getting more than the age pension,
    Alipal
    10th Jul 2020
    11:11am
    Son and family will be kicked out of his rental property once Job Seeker ends. He has never had to apply for assistance in 25 years of working and paying taxes. Unfortunately his loss of employment is because a contract fell through when the work he was to do was completed early. No mention of Covid-19 so the landlord will not cut his rent.

    I can understand why some folk are not going to take work that is offered when it will not cover expenses such as rent and food when the current Job Seeker payment does so. Like many other of the unemployed, he is scouring the internet each day and sending in application after application. No point in applying for public housing. There will be a huge increase of folk living in their cars (if they own one) once Job Seeker is cut. Also a huge increase in three generations of families living under the one roof. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
    Al
    10th Jul 2020
    11:39am
    ...getting more than the age pension. Which brings a question whether OAP folks should get a third $750 support allowance. In my opinion and from talking to other OAP pensioners the answer is clearly YES. The OAP benefit in normal circumstances is not much more than survival and many pensions will tell you they have had additional expenses in the last few months, OAP folks need help as do many other Australians.
    Pendrey
    10th Jul 2020
    11:56am
    With the general unemployment rate at 7.6% and for the 18 to 24 year age group at 15.5% there is no doubt a great deal of difficulty for some job seekers.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2020
    1:23pm
    The problem us that many on job seeker and jobkeeper are getting more than they earned beforw COVUD-19 struck. These people are now refusing to work at all until September and the higher rate payments are due to stop.
    We have farmers unabke to get their crops in because there are no backpackers and the unemployed yoyth are too precious to puck fruit. Why should they when they are so comfortable on Centrelink payments. If crops are ploughed in there will be rises in prices at the supermarket and everyone will oay the price of thise unwilling to work.
    Of course it is not everyone, but there is very little excuse for refusing to work when it is available.
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    2:18pm
    KSS which farmers need workers? There are still plenty of backpackers in Australia, they did not all go home, they were able to extend their time here and chose to stay to be safer.

    Many unemployed have families they cannot just up and leave to work in remote areas, and what about housing usually hard to find, then they have two rentals to pay for, be realistic, it is not that easy for the unemployed and those who were already unemployed have been shoved further down the scrap heap.

    Recently I saw a story on Current Affair of a remote town seeking diesel mechanic and he used social media to reach out and was flooded with applications, just goes to show there are qualified people looking for work and prepared to relocate but job providers are just not doing their job.
    SuziJ
    11th Jul 2020
    2:21am
    There are some who are 60+ and have been unemployed for 10+ years. There's no hope to get another job, as the job was so 'niche' and he would've need to go to university to get the qualifications that he had when he was learning 'on the job' for over 17 years, and there was no way that he could afford that, being on a pension.

    Try to get a job when you're this age, and you'll find that there's not much out there, especially for one with medical problems, too, which make jobs like working in supermarkets, etc something that he cannot do. He's with a job agency, but they can't offer him much, as there's no call for his skills where we're living. We had to move from Canberra to where we are because we couldn't afford the exorbitant rents they were asking, and that was 10 years ago, so they would've gone up by at least 25% by now.

    He's also a carer, so if he was to get a job, he'd be working 80+ hours per week - does anyone think that'd be fair?
    Rae
    11th Jul 2020
    8:04am
    I agree incognito. My son who is a motor mechanic /farm labourer/ small diesel tractor and irrigation would have leaped at the chance. He spent the last 3 weeks in a tent in rural Victoria to take up work own an orchard enterprise. Yes they have plenty of backpackers still.

    The job providers were useless.
    Chris B T
    10th Jul 2020
    10:47am
    How about the Couple when one receives OAP but only Half the couple OAP instead of Single OAP until the younger becomes old enough to Receive OAP. Than have the "Coupled OAP" payment. Especially in these trying times as the other may be missing out on any Stimulus Payments so only 1 half of Couple OAP to live off.
    Farside
    10th Jul 2020
    11:24am
    living off a half a couple OAP rate only seems unfair for the couple. Does the younger have an income or access to one of the support payments e.g. jobseeker?
    Chris B T
    10th Jul 2020
    12:58pm
    That's What I said no Stimulus so not any Payment as this was added to Those Payments.
    That is Zero/None/Not Any Form of Welfare Payment only option is to Raid Supper if enough or any to Raid.
    Total Loss of Income/Job.
    Mez
    10th Jul 2020
    11:06am
    What concerns me greatly here is that so many people will become bankrupt or insolvent and part of this is that for 7 years afterwards, one has a very bad credit record and therefore no loans or new financial or renting contracts will be available until afterwards.
    This perhaps needs to be waived or modified somehow as a result of this Covid crisis!
    Fliss
    10th Jul 2020
    11:10am
    Agree with your point here Mez. My guess is that bankruptcy rules will be modified for this period of time.
    Rae
    10th Jul 2020
    1:09pm
    I agree Mez. When huge changes occur suddenly we need to be flexible. In fact this has been a cry for years that we need flexibility. It cuts all ways. Flexible changes to these sorts of rules brought in quickly.
    We may need to bring back the Parliament early to pass legislation but so be it. In fact I'd feel better if we had a Parliament a bit more often and not just an unelected Federal Cabinet.
    Helen
    10th Jul 2020
    11:19am
    Pensioners are having more costs because of isolation, costs of having groceries and other necessities being delivered. We need help will stimulus for the added burden
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    2:20pm
    I don't see how it is much of an extra cost, you can get free delivery from your local supermarket or have someone else pick it up and you are still able to shop yourself and if not there is plenty of help out there.
    patti
    10th Jul 2020
    4:44pm
    Incognito - I have had to pay to get my groceries delivered. What if you have no-one who is able to pick groceries up for you? I am able to shop for myself fortunately, but if I couldn't do that there is actually not much help around where I live.
    Age pensioners have received only the $750 stimulus so far, with another one due shortly. But paying the same extra weekly / fortnightly costs as everyone else, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to manage on my income which has not changed at all.
    It's not a competition to see who's the worst off, really, it's just a question of survival.
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    5:34pm
    Yes my mum struggles too with rates increasing every year, she cannot afford maintenance on her house. Her last stimulus payment went to a very needed new fridge. I agree everyone should be able to live a much better life in a rich country like ours.
    You can get free shipping from Amazon if you spend $39. Target and Kmart have free shipping over $45 at the moment too. I always look at for free shipping offers because I have to drive a 40 minute round trip to shop, our little town is very limited.
    Fedup
    10th Jul 2020
    12:03pm
    Some businesses are back to, or better than, their pre-COVID earnings, but are still getting JobKeeper. I know someone who rang Centrelink and told them she no longer needed JK and was told once you qualify you get it for the full term.

    People in other professions didn’t get it at all. If it continues, it has to be more fairly distributed.
    Dot
    10th Jul 2020
    12:58pm
    I to agree with the extra stimulus but it needs to be focused on the people who truly deserve it. Those who were working and lost their jobs not those who think it’s great to sit on the dole and have no intention of working. I also believe that the pensioners and carers were left out in a major way in the last stimulus package. Two small payments totalling $1500 when the unemployed and even those on job keeper were handed almost that a fortnight. Most pensioners have worked and paid their dues to the tax office so they deserve more. And those with a disability and those that care for them do it tough as much as everyone else. What about their right to some help. Especially when the hoarding of a few raised costs of groceries for the many. Did they get the same payment exemptions from rent and stuff when that is what their income is in a normal basis that those who received the stimulus payments. Let make it fair.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2020
    1:27pm
    For people already on a Centrelink pension there is very little if any change to their circumstances or income. In fact they are already $1500 better off than before COVIID-19. It is time this was acknowledged and the constant whinging stopped. There are people far more badly affected who deserve consideration than those already long term welfare recipients.
    eraser
    10th Jul 2020
    1:36pm
    You have to factor in the current interest rate KSS as a lot of pensioners have relied on this for additional income
    Dot
    10th Jul 2020
    2:15pm
    KSS you are obviously not a pensioner who has felt the trials of COVID-19 just as much as anyone. Why should they get just $1500 when those who don’t want work get handed smith &550 per fortnight for nothing. They get the stimulus payments every fortnight u til September which adds up to a lot more than the pensioners have bee given. I thought we Australians are all meant to be equal so therefore should be treated equally
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    2:24pm
    That is why we need a universal basic pension, I know people who are unemployed still trying to find work, they have been able to get car maintenance done,keep up with rent payments, buy long needed clothes and bedding, pay for internet so they can look for work easier, and numerous other things, they are not all sitting around doing nothing, many are volunteering their time to help others, you cannot put them all in the same basket. And how would you feel if you now have even less of a chance to get employment with no hope for the future.
    Farside
    10th Jul 2020
    3:45pm
    hey Dot, how do you feel about making the OAP and benefits the same as jobseeker, austudy etc so all those receiving social security are treated equally? Or are you trying to pick and choose?
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    5:38pm
    Youth allowance is very low too (worse than Austudy) and this covers all those under 25 whether they are seeking work or studying.
    Farside
    11th Jul 2020
    12:02am
    fair point Incognito, standardise all social security payments on the Youth Allowance. That makes it equal for everyone.
    Incognito
    10th Jul 2020
    2:31pm
    You cannot put everyone in the same basket, many pensioners do not need extra money, but try being unemployed for long enough and watch your savings dwindle to nothing while you struggle to pay rent, pay for utilities, feed kids, school them, pay for car maintenance, and look for work in this dismal time, people are suffering and sadly it is those who are less fortunate will take the brunt of this economic mess we are in. We will see more homeless people, those seeking charity, and mental issues along with health issues if everyone receiving welfare has to go back to poverty. Meanwhile big business is business as usual, I have a friend that works at Bunnings and he says they are not enforcing social distancing or giving staff any protections, he still has to work, while small businesses are closing many never to be open again.
    Dabbydoos
    10th Jul 2020
    2:39pm
    My granddaughter lives alone, pays $275 a week rent and supplements her university fees whilst studying LAW by working. LAW degree now classed as an Arts degree and fees to increase how will she manage to pay. Unlike most politicians who paid nothing towards their degrees.
    Farside
    10th Jul 2020
    3:47pm
    HELP loans only have to begin being repaid after a certain level of income reached.
    Frist
    10th Jul 2020
    2:48pm
    With all the requests for money to be handed out, which comes from someone’s pocket, unless we believe it is printed and has no connection to wealth creation, we will have many children yet to be born who will pick up a bill which they did not contribute to, hardly fair on the yet to be born.
    Farside
    11th Jul 2020
    12:04am
    you're sort of right ... if history is a guide then inflation takes care of the debt so no actual burden on the unborn kiddies
    neil
    11th Jul 2020
    2:01pm
    Try living on a zero hours contract, capitalisms delight. Humanities destruction.

    Neil.
    Life experience
    12th Jul 2020
    3:49pm
    If people refuse to go back to work their jobkeeper should be stopped. There are many employers in Australia that can’t get their workers back. The workers have been used to getting paid to stay home. We now have a problem of people enjoying staying home and their mentality has changed. They see no need to work.
    Stop encouraging people to be lazy. And people who have been unemployed pre Covid did not need extra payments. That was a waste of money. They needed less money because everything was shut and less places to spend it.
    If someone was only working a few hours a fortnight they ended up getting $ 1500. That is wrong. That has to stop.
    I want to see the people who need the money get it. Not the lazy ones who can work and won’t
    I also see a need now to reduce the pension age to give jobs to the young.
    Why pay the dole to someone young who will never work if on it for years. If you can pay the pension instead to someone who is tired and wants to retire after many many years of working. The young are our future. They need to work and jobs need to be freed up for them.
    Incognito
    12th Jul 2020
    5:18pm
    Have you ever tried to live on Youth Allowance, Austudy and JobSeeker? Then you have no idea how hard it is to live on. No increases for 25 years yet rent, utilities, foods etc has gone up so much. Please do not put everyone in the same basket many of these people you claim are sitting around doing nothing are volunteering and studying from home and need more internet access to do it from home, and those looking for work have no chance at the moment. The extra money is not being wasted by most, they are paying bills, getting cars fixed, buying much needed clothing etc. Go and talk to some of these people before you judge, more than 50 % of unemployed are over 40 and many with kids.
    Farside
    12th Jul 2020
    11:05pm
    what Incognito said however I agree that a temporary drop in the retirement age is a good idea for addressing the issues of the older unemployed and creating opportunities in the workforce.
    Incognito
    12th Jul 2020
    11:28pm
    The only reason retirement age was raised was to save the Government paying pensions for those effected and who have to try and survive on the much lower Jobseeker allowance, do volunteer work and deal with Job providers, with many having to dip into their savings to survive.
    Life experience
    13th Jul 2020
    1:29am
    Incognito. I feel for people who want to work. And can’t get a job. It’s the ones that refuse to work that I get upset at. I spoke to a girl that won’t work. She said why should I , I get money from the govt. I can see she will never work in her lifetime. She pays rent etc. wouldn’t be easy but she prefers not to work. Also a girlfriends son will not work. He’s partying and having fun on Govt money. She is fearful he will never work too.
    Lots of local jobs he could apply for. But he won’t. The reason they are advertising right now in WA is because they can’t get their employee’s to return as they are enjoying the jobkeeper payment. And employers can’t sack them but need employee’s to keep their business’s going.
    Farside
    13th Jul 2020
    12:54pm
    Life Experience, in the grand scheme of things it makes little difference if a number of people are unwilling to work while there are people willing to do so. Every employer would prefer a worker who wants to be there rather than someone there against their will.

    The repeated anecdotes of those on Jobkeeper refusing to return to work are unconvincing. Is there any evidence this is a widespread phenomenon? Simply, an employee has a lawful duty to perform work and can be dismissed if there are not reasonable reasons for doing so.

    Ian Neil, Senior Barrister, recently wrote “There does seem to be a widespread misconception that, because under the JobKeeper scheme workers can receive payment even if they are performing no work, that there’s some feature of the JobKeeper scheme that means that people are not required to work. That’s wrong. The JobKeeper does not give employees the right to refuse to work. There are aspects of the scheme that allow changes to be made to the work and responsibility of the employees, including standing them down altogether. But if an employer requires an employee to work, and if that requirement is lawful and reasonable then the employee must obey it, must comply, must return to the work.”
    Country John
    15th Jul 2020
    11:01am
    The stimulus payments should be reduced. There is a lot of work in country areas but so many times it's filled with foreign workers. The local meat works had 27 difference nationalities there. Maybe about 400 but not sure. When clearing scrub was named in the early 90's I lost my job and a few months later my employer went bankrupt. No government hand outs. I survived by having 4 casual jobs. 8 started my own business which went on to employ 5 full time staff. Three are to many people who are long term file bludgers and to many who are content to sit on the allowance because it's about what they were getting when employed. Sell inner of your cars, cut back on how many of your family have mobiles and reduce accordingly. Cut back your expenses the same as those of us who are aged pensioners have had to do.
    Farside
    15th Jul 2020
    1:58pm
    Country John speaks from a place of uninformed ignorance and hypocrisy. Why should the unemployed and their families live on less than amount paid to aged pensioners? Nevertheless, if it is good enough for the unemployed to go back to eking out a living on a bit over half the age pension, then I suggest similar cuts to the age pension. Let pensioners show them the way on how to cut back and reduce on the equivalent of the old Newstart allowance.
    Incognito
    15th Jul 2020
    5:17pm
    Country John is not up with the unemployment situation, jobs are not as easy to get as you think, the foreign workers you talk about are residents of Australia. If you think this way then you should support a reduction on immigration. Only the Sustainable Australia Party seems interested in this. No one should be struggling in this rich country.
    Country John
    15th Jul 2020
    5:43pm
    I happen to have 3 boarders who are not residents and know people in the know at the meat works and three majority address not residents. About 95%. Are not.
    I think your comments about me are very silly as you have not Done your homework or read my post in context. Suggest you reread it before commenting. This country with its greed is rapidly heading towards becoming a3rd world country. If the govt doesn't reign things in soon and stop spending that's where were will end up.


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