Stimulus Package Update 3 + Managing Finances In Uncertain Times (webinar recording)

Hi All,

As many will have seen, over the past couple of days the government have released details of further stimulus, a change to JobSeeker income tests and a rent moratorium. We’ve summarised key information below.

JobKeeper Payment

The main takeaway from the recent updated stimulus announcement is the introduction of the proposed JobKeeper payment, this is different to the JobSeeker payment accessed through Centrelink.

High level details of the JobKeeper payment are listed below. Important to note: details are limited at this stage and legislation has not yet been passed. For that reason, we cannot provide specific advice or guidance until details are clear, however we welcome clients reaching out to discuss.

In the interim, the ATO are requesting that businesses (sole traders and partnerships included) register their interest to receive updates on the status of this payment. Register here.

JobKeeper (basic) details:

  • A $1,500 (before tax) payment will be made to eligible employers to be paid to casual, part time and full time workers. This is also designed to be passed on to employees who may have been “stood down” in recent weeks due to CV.
  • To be considered an eligible employer for JobKeeper, employers need to be able to prove a 30% downturn in business due to CV.
    • The 30% downturn can be compared to a comparable period one year ago, of at least one month. The substantiation requirements for the 30% downturn is fluid until legislation is passed, for that reason, please speak with your accountant to alleviate any uncertainty.
  • The payment is a flat rate per employee, not considering employee regular salary or prior earnings.
  • Date this becomes effective is as at 1 March, however payments are not likely to be received until May at this stage
  • The payments will be facilitated via single touch payroll and are indicated to run for 6 months
  • Casuals who have worked for an employer for 12 months or more are eligible
  • This measure is in addition to the PAYG cash boost stimulus for employers
  • Sole traders and partnerships appear to be eligible for this JobKeeper payment.

If you’re a sole trader or partnership and unsure if or how this may apply, the below example may assist:

Melissa is a sole trader running a florist. She does not have employees. Melissa’s business has been in operation for several years. The economic downturn due to the Coronavirus has adversely affected Melissa’s business, and she expects that her business turnover will fall by more than 30 per cent compared to a typical month in 2019.

Melissa will be able to apply for the JobKeeper Payment and would receive $1,500 per fortnight before tax, paid on a monthly basis.

  • Resource: Treasury fact sheet available here for anyone interested in the available details here.
  • Resource: Easy to understand details re. JobKeeper payments here.

 JobSeeker Income Test Changes

The government has recently lifted the spouse income limit, from $48,000 to $80,000 annually, for testing criteria on JobSeeker + Corona Virus supplement payments.

This means that if you’ve lost your job due to CV, and your spouse is still employed and earning a $75k salary, then you may still be eligible for some level of payment of JobSeeker and CV supplement from Centrelink. Previously, this would not have been the case with allowable spouse income capped at a maximum of $48,000 annually.

Do keep in mind that some people who were previously looking to claim the JobSeeker payment may now be eligible for the JobKeeper payment through their employer or business. The JobKeeper does, at this stage, look to be potentially greater amount (very dependant on specific circumstances).

Treasury fact sheet for income support here.

Rent Moratorium

The National Cabinet have agreed to a moratorium (freeze) on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.

This means, if you’re genuinely financially distressed due to current events and are unsure if you’ll be able to meet your rent payments, contact your landlord and discuss/negotiate what rent relief may be available.

Landlords and tenants not significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their lease and rental agreements.

National Cabinet announcement here.

Managing Finances In Uncertain Times – Webinar Recording

Last Friday Holly had the pleasure of sitting on a virtual panel with several experts to discuss how to manage finances in troubled times. Incase you missed it, the recording can be accessed here:

If you’d like to better understand how these measures may be of benefit to you or your business, please do reach out and organise a time to chat, either via email or online bookings here.

Thank you,

Team at Oceans