Empty Sydney
The lockdown has already lasted for over a month. Images – Canva.
  • Maximum business turnover required for JobSaver payments is now $250M, from $50M
  • The maximum weekly payment has now increased to $100,000
  • BCA notes that one-third of the construction industry will still be impacted by tighter restrictions

The Commonwealth and NSW governments have announced greater support to businesses and individuals impacted by the lockdown, now extended for another month.

The governments have jointly announced JobSaver payments will be now available to all businesses with annual turnovers between $75,000 and $250 million – up from $50 million – who have seen revenues decline by more than 30%, the threshold that applied to the original JobKeeper program.

The maximum weekly payment has also increased for eligible businesses who maintain their headcount, with these businesses able to receive between $1,500 and $100,000 – significantly above the original maximum of $10,000. The payments are based on 40% of their weekly NSW payroll.

“We know these restrictions are tough but necessary to get the current situation under control and that is why we are coming to the table to help businesses and individuals with more financial support,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“We don’t want people to have to worry about how they are going to keep the lights on or reopen their businesses when restrictions ease, which is why we are investing billions to give people that peace of mind.”

As of yesterday, over 14,000 applications were made since Monday with $28 million approved for payment so far.

Extra support welcomed

“The joint State and Federal Government’s announcement today will significantly help impacted businesses … stay afloat and importantly, retain their employees, which keeps income flowing into households,” said Westpac CEO, Peter King.

“This is the right approach, and coupled with increased Disaster Payments, should provide much needed cash flow for essentials and bills.”

Peter King, Westpac CEO

Mr King added the bank has seen a doubling of businesses seeking additional support.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has also welcomed the announcement.

“Lifting the business turnover threshold to $250 million with maximum payments of $100,000 will help protect jobs and help businesses bounce back,” said BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott.

“We thank the Berejiklian and Morrison governments for their continued willingness to adapt to changing circumstances throughout the pandemic.”

In terms of the construction sector, news that some work will be allowed to continue this weekend has been welcomed although tighter restrictions on certain LGA’s means one-third of those in the industry are not allowed to work.

“There is no doubt the extended lockdown will hurt the NSW and national economy.

“We will need to continue to finetune the definition of authorised workers while managing the health risk. We know that this government is responsible and pragmatic whilst maintaining the health of the population.

“The return of construction in non-occupied settings from Saturday outside the eight LGAs will help put a floor under the industry. The NSW construction sector is a vital part of the state’s economy with a ripple effect through the entire national economy.

Jennifer Westacott, BCA chief executive

“We must as fast as possible find a safe way back to the full operation of the construction sector.”

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