darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed a $130 billion Federal Government plan to protect the jobs of thousands of workers across the region impacted by the coronavirus.

Mr Chester said the unprecedented ‘JobKeeper’ announcement was designed to keep as many people in work as possible and help businesses to resume operations quickly once restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted.

“The JobKeeper wage subsidy will provide eligible employees with a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax, for the next six months to help retain staff members,” Mr Chester said.

“This new subsidy is for businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus and allows employers to keep paying their employees and help them to resume normal operations when this crisis ends.

“The coronavirus is having an impact throughout the world, but Australia is better placed to cope with the crisis than anywhere else.

“We’re fighting this pandemic from a health perspective and we are doing everything we can to save lives and stop the spread of the virus.

“We are also fighting the job losses and economic consequences of the coronavirus, so we are doing everything we can to support households and prevent businesses from disappearing.”

Mr Chester said the economic outlook had deteriorated since the Federal Government’s first economic response to the pandemic was announced on March 12.

“The spread of the virus worldwide has broadened and is expected to be more prolonged,” Mr Chester said.

“That’s why the Federal Government is doing all it can to help lessen the financial blow and try to save as many jobs as possible.

“Today’s announcement brings the government’s total economic support for the economy to $320 billion for the next four years. That’s more than 16 percent of the entire economic output of the nation.”

Businesses will be eligible to receive the subsidy if they

  • · have a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month);
  •  have a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • are not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Not-for-profit entities, including charities, and self-employed individuals that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are also eligible to apply for JobKeeper payments.

For more information, including about the application process and the criteria for eligible employees, visit https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

The Federal Government also announced it would temporarily expand access to income support payments over the next six months and establish a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight.

JobSeeker Payment is subject to a partner income test. This income test has been temporarily relaxed to ensure an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker Payment, and the associated Coronavirus Supplement, provided their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight, or around $79,762 a year.

The personal income test for individuals on the JobSeeker Payment will still apply.

For more details, visit www.australia.gov.au

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