Federal Government & NT Government Economic Stimulus
UPDATED 1 APRIL 2020: As new information becomes available from the Federal and NT Governments we will update this page accordingly.
The Australian Government is working hard to support individuals and households through the economic consequences of the Coronavirus. Additionally, the Northern Territory Government is delivering a $120 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan to help keep Territorians in jobs. Here’s the financial assistance you may be able to apply for as an individual, household and/or business:
Federal Government JobKeeper Payment
- Information for Employers
If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees. Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months. This assistance will help you keep staff and will help you restart when the crisis is over.
- Information for Employees
The JobKeeper payment helps businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so more Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income. Your employer will notify you if they intend to claim the fortnightly payment of $1,500 on your behalf.
Federal Government Support for Individuals and Households
- Income Support for Individuals
Over the next six months, the Federal Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
- Payments to Support Households
The Federal Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners. This payment will help to support confidence and domestic demand in the economy. The second payment will not be made to those eligible for the Coronavirus supplement.
- Temporary Early Release of Superannuation
The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
- Temporarily Reducing Superannuation Minimum Drawdown Rates
The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees holding these products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.
Federal Government support for Businesses
- Supporting Apprentices and Trainees
The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).
- Boosting Cash Flows for Employers
This assistance will support businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees. These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium sized businesses and to improve business confidence. The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure also supports the activities of not-for-profits (including charities) at a time when they are facing increased demand for services.
- Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses
The economic impacts of the Coronavirus and health measures to prevent its spread could see many otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress. It is important that these businesses have a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal business operations. One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business.
- Increasing the Instant Asset Write-off
The Federal Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. In 2017-18 there were more than 360,000 businesses that benefited from the current instant asset write-off, claiming deductions to the value of over $4 billion. This measure will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees.
- Backing Business Investment
The Federal Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. This measure will support business investment and is estimated to lower taxes paid by Australian businesses by $6.7 billion over the next two years. This measure will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees.
Federal Government supporting the Flow of Credit
- Support for Immediate Cash Flow needs for SMEs
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Federal Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending. This will provide businesses with funding to meet cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. This will assist otherwise viable businesses across the economy who are facing significant challenges due to disrupted cash flow to meet existing obligations.
- Quick and Efficient Access to Credit for Small Business
The Federal Government is cutting red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. This reform will help small businesses get access to credit quickly and efficiently.
Northern Territory Government Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan
- Home Improvement Scheme
A new $30 million home improvement scheme will help protect the Territory from the deep economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep shops and businesses open, cash flowing and Territorians working. The scheme will help fast-track around 5,000 screwdriver-ready projects in Territory homes. This means that projects are physical improvements to land and / or buildings, and repairs and maintenance services.
The scheme operates on a voucher system, with home owners receiving either a voucher worth $4,000 if they contribute at least $1,000 of their own money, or a voucher worth $6,000 if they contribute at least $2,000 of their own money.
- Business Improvement Grant
A new program will deliver $20 million through the Business Improvement Grants program. These grants will help stimulate the economy and keep Territorians in jobs. It’s part of the Territory Government’s Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
All Territory businesses will be able to access a $10,000 grant. For work more than $10,000, the co-contribution by the Territory Government is limited to $10,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum grant of $20,000.
Each business is only eligible to receive one grant, and it can be used to complete one or two different jobs on the premises. The upgrades and purchases have to be from another Territory business.
- Small Business Survival Fund
The new $50 million Small Business Survival Fund will help local Territory businesses survive the unprecedented economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). This fund is specifically targeted at supporting industries such as retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses.
Eligible businesses will be able to apply for two payments:an immediate survival payment of between $2,000 and $50,000 to help offset the immediate cost pressures on businesses a rapid adaption payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 to help businesses make the necessary changes they need to help adapt to the new operating environment.
- Territory Jobs Hub
The NT Government is supporting Territory workers impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) to connect with local businesses and find new employment. The Territory Jobs Hub helps businesses to connect with people looking for work, including casual and contract work.
- Immediate Works Grant
A new $5 million Immediate Work Grants program will help stimulate the economy and keep Territorians in jobs. Grants of up to $100,000 will be given to Northern Territory (NT) not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to do repairs, renovations and upgrades to their property and facilities. These are for permanent physical improvements to land and / or buildings.
The first $50,000 will be paid as a grant without you needing to co-contribute. The NT Government will also match any renovation costs that exceed $50,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum total of $100,000.
- Opportunities for NT Tradies and Contractors
The Northern Territory (NT) Government is investing $120 million as part of a Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan, to save local jobs, keep businesses open and cash flowing. If you are a NT tradie or contractor, you can apply to supply goods and services to businesses, not-for-profits and home owners under the scheme.
This means you can register to be listed as an eligible business that provides services under the following: