The federal government has enacted a second round of stimulus measures directed at cushioning the economy from the impact of COVID-19.
The latest sum of $66.1 billion brings the total of the government’s measures to $189 billion.
A cash payment of up to $100,000 has been made available to businesses with turnover of under $50 million. The government will also now guarantee 50 percent of loans to businesses from eligible lenders.
Those who are already eligible to access the instant asset write off threshold will get a minimum payment of $20,000, up to a maximum of $100,000.
The government said the payments would help businesses’ cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.
The new measures build on those announced last week and mean employers will receive a payment equal to 100 percent of their salary and wages withheld, an increase from 50 percent.
The maximum payment has been increased from $25,000 to $50,000.
The minimum payment is also being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.
“The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO,” the government said in a statement.
An additional payment is also being made from 28 July 2020. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received.
This measure is estimated to cost $31.9 billion over the forward estimates period, including the value of the measure announced in the first package.
The government also committed to a number of regulatory initatives including establishing the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which it said will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus.
Under the Scheme, the government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.
It said this will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs and would be able to support $40 billion of lending to such businesses.
The government will guarantee up to $20 billion to support $40 billion in SME loans under the measure.
Support for immediately impacted businesses
The government also said that to support businesses with cash flow issues, it is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.
The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.
“The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus,” the Government said in a statement.