Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed Qantas stood down workers will be available to claim the extra financial aid announced on the weekend.
Speaking to the ABC’s David Speers on Sunday night, the Prime Minister said, “They will get access to the double jobseeker payment. They will get the ability to access their own superannuation savings of up to $20,000 over the next six months.”
The second rescue package, worth $66 billion, lets workers access essentially twice the current JobSeeker, previously Newstart, allowance. The new time-limited coronavirus supplement will be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next six months, costing $14.1 billion.
Eligible income support recipients will receive the coronavirus supplement on top of their normal payments. Depending on family circumstance, some will be able to claim a maximum of $1,340.10.
The extra payment will be available to both new and existing recipients of the jobseeker payment, youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit.
For more information, see the government’s announcement here.
In addition, those “in financial stress” will be able to access two sets of $10,000 from their superannuation, one across the 2020 and 2021 financial year.
It’s thought this will include those made redundant or those that have had their working hours reduced by 20 per cent.
Eligible individuals can apply through the myGov website.
The Prime Minister said, “We want to help businesses keep going as best they can and for as long as they can, or to pause instead of winding up their business. We want to ensure that when this crisis has passed Australian businesses can bounce back.
“Our focus is on cushioning the blow and providing hope to every Australian that we will get through this and come out the other side together.
“We know this will be temporary. That’s why all our actions are geared towards building a bridge, keeping more people in work, enhancing the safety net for those that aren’t and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side and stand up their workforce as quickly as possible.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the $189 billion economic support package was the equivalent of 9.7 per cent of GDP.
Frydenberg said, “The government is taking unprecedented action to strengthen the safety net available to Australians that are stood down or lose their jobs and increasing support for small businesses that do it tough over the next six months.
“These measures build significantly on what we have already announced. These extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
The new $189 billion fund includes the $17.6 billion for the government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in today’s economic support package.
Last week, Qantas announced two-thirds of its workforce would be stood down.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said, “The efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.
“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than $4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.”