Mar 12, 2020

Government’s virus response includes $750 payment for pensioners

As Australia’s recorded cases of coronavirus reach 140, including three deaths, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a $17.6 billion stimulus package, including one-off $750 payments to certain households, including pensioners.

The prime minister said the coronavirus will have serious impacts on Australia’s economy. “It is a health crisis with very significant economic impacts,” he told a press conference in Canberra this morning.

The multi-billion-dollar package is the equivalent of 1.2 per cent of GDP. “This is a significant investment,” the prime minister said.

2.4 million pensioners to receive payment

The government’s one-off $750 payments will be available to those on Newstart, the disability or carers pension, the youth allowance, veterans, those who receive family tax benefits, holders of Commonwealth health cards, and age pensioners.

The payment will go to 2.4 million age pensioners.

“The one-off payment will flow automatically from 31 March and will provide additional income to many Australians that will be spent across Australia,” said Treasurer John Frydenberg.

“Households will receive a stimulus payment of $750 across the full gambit of those who receive all sorts of benefit payments,” Mr Morrison said.

“The biggest beneficiaries of that will be pensioners. They comprise around half of those who will receive those payments.”

Mr Morrison was asked if recipients of the payment could pocket rather than spend the payment.

Mr Morrison said the payments should improve consumer confidence.

“I believe their common sense has demonstrated in the wake, and in response, to previous situations like this that it speaks for itself,” he said.

Sickness allowance wait time waived

Casual employees and independent contractors do not receive paid sick leave in Australia but they can claim a means-tested sickness allowance.

The payment is currently in the process of being changed, but Mr Morrison announced the waiting time to receive the payment will be waived. Asset test rules will still apply to the payment.

“It is a Newstart-level payment and people who are casual employees that wouldn’t be able to go to work or because they have to self-isolate or, indeed, have the virus, they would be able to access that payment,” Mr Morrison said.

Earlier this week, Mr Morrison warned large businesses their brands would suffer if they did not support workers who self-isolated due to the coronavirus.

Cut to deeming rates will increase pensions

The government will also lower deeming rates, which determine access to the pension and part-pension, as interest rates fall to record lows.

Mr Morrison confirmed deeming rates will fall by 50 basis points.

Small to medium employers also targeted

Businesses with employees and with turnover of less than $50 million will receive tax-free payments of between $2,000 and $25,000. 

The government will also deliver businesses with fewer than 20 employees a 50 per cent wage subsidy for trainees and apprentices. It’s likely to support around 117,000 apprentices and will support wages over a nine-month period.

 

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  1. Will couple pensioners receive $1500 (2x$750). If not then what mechanism will Centrelink use to identify two, unmarried people living together (defacto or gay) and claim two single pensions?? Would appreciate clar ification.

    1. Thank you, Hello Care for your professional presentations.

      I have a ‘LOW INCOME HEALTH CARE CARD’ issued by The Aust Gov Dept of Human Services.on behalf of the Dept of Social Services. I am retired (not quite – pension age) and have been self-supporting for a number of years via my superannuation.
      Would I be included in the gov $750 payment?

      1. LIHCC is not included on their list of eligible cards which is totally unfair as is their miserly 0.75% reduction in deeming rates when it should have been a 2.5% reduction for amounts over $50k.

        But this government has never been known for fairness and unashamedly preys on the rights of retirees and the elderly. This stimulus package is aimed mainly at the NLP voter base…small and big business and is akin to sportzrorts. Rudd’s stimulus package was far more equitable ….and it worked.

        1. I have just rung Russell Broadbent’s office to have it confirmed ttat LIHCC holders are excluded from this package. PLEASE BOMBARD YOUR LOCAL MEMBER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF This is so unfair.

        1. I have just rung Russell Broadbent’s office to have it confirmed ttat LIHCC holder are exclude from this package. PLEASE BOMBARD YOUR LOCAL MEMBER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF This is so unfair.

        2. I have just rung Russell Broadbent’s office to have it confirmed ttat LIHCC holder are exclude from this package. PLEASE BOMBARD YOUR LOCAL MEMBER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF This is so unfair.

      2. I have just rung Russell Broadbent’s office to have it confirmed ttat LIHCC holder are exclude from this package. PLEASEBOMBARD YOUR LOCAL MEMBER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF This is so unfair.

      3. I’m in the same boat, receiving less than the Aged Pension.I have just rung Russell Broadbent’s office to have it confirmed ttat LIHCC holder are exclude from this package. PLEASE BOMBARD YOUR LOCAL MEMBER AND EVERYONE ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF This is so unfair.

  2. If I get payed on a Saturday morning will the stimulus package be included in this payment thanks

    1. Hi Lesley,
      stimulus packages will be sent out by the government sometime after the 31st of this month (roughly two weeks)

  3. I am also wondering if Low Income Health Care Card holders are eligible for this stimulus payment. Not yet eligible for aged pension, and only receiving super payments.

  4. i understand the reason behind this cash grant but why are the pensioners all ways at the bad end. yes we get $750 per person but why are we maybe getting around $50 extra a fortnight but others are getting $550 extra a fortnight. pensioner have been struggling all the time on the income we get so why not make are life easier as well. we can spend just like every one maybe more cause to have free money would allow us to by things that we never think of. stop over looking the pensioners

  5. I am very confused on the news it says a further $750, that makes it $1500, who will receive this?

  6. Hello and thanks. We are received FTB part A & B for a family of 4. I am not sure if we receive 1 payment of $750 or 2 payments of $750 (one each parent)? Do you have any clarity around this?

  7. Hi I’m a pensioner I have worked one day a week as a casual for over 12mth for the same employer $200 a week
    This reduces my pension payment
    Will I receive the $1500 if he reduces my days.

  8. Hi Im new start allowance 58 years old, and I’m looking after my daughter just turning 16 years old she’s diagnose with (ALL) Leukaemia since 17/05/2018 untill now ongoing chemotherapy. Hopefully I have $7.50 to us for a while while we in quarantine please let me know

  9. If my husband Job is on hold he is 67 his company has the centink program will he be eligible to claim $1500

  10. I’m a carer for my husband and I’m working a partime trainer in childcare,I’m eligible to get the 1500 from the government announce last week?

  11. Hi im a single mother on carers pension looking after my father do i miss out on the extra $550 ?

  12. Single parent with 2 kids don’t get the $550 that really unfair because the kids staying home during the covid19, that means more foods, electricity, water, medicine(sanetiser) price jumped triple.Spending,bills are doubling ,What the hell the government thinking??

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