PM launches $17.6 billion virus stimulus plan
The Prime Minister has announced a stimulus plan to curb the economic impact of the coronavirus and keep “Australians in jobs and businesses in business”.
The package, aimed to provide an immediate stimulus to the economy, will be worth $17.6 billion, with a projected impact of $22.9 billion.
It includes tax relief for small businesses, a $750 one-off cash payment for welfare recipients and wage assistance to keep apprentices in work.
“Each measure is temporary, each measure is targeted, and each measure is proportionate to the challenges we face,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told media in Canberra.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the government plans to spend $11 billion before June 30 this year, with the remainder to be injected into the economy before the end of the next financial year.
"This plan is about keeping Australians in jobs. This plan is about keeping a business in business, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and this plan is about ensuring the Australian economy bounces back stronger on the other side of this and, with that, the Budget bounces back with it," Mr Morrison told media.
Under the plan, the government is lifting the threshold for the instant asset write-off from $30,000 to $150,000, and expanding it to businesses with an annual turnover up to $500 million, up from $50 million. It has also announced a 50 per cent accelerated depreciation deduction above existing deductions, which will be available to June 30, 2021.
Additionally, businesses with turnover up to $50 million will receive a tax-free cashflow boost for employers worth up to $25,000, designed to help pay wages.
It has also set up a coronavirus regional and community fund aimed to assist those in the most impacted areas such as tourism and export.
Maja Garcia Djurdjevic
12 March 2020