Australian Stimulus Packages – A Simple Update
The financial fallout from this year’s pandemic lockdown, on top of the earlier devastating bushfire season, was always going to be significant.
The government rolled out numerous stimulus measures to help Aussies through the tough times.
These included the JobKeeper allowance, a home builder grant to stimulate the building and construction industries, early access to $20,000 worth of superannuation ($10,000 before June 30 and another $10,000 after) and even free childcare.
But just as coronavirus cases slowed to a halt and businesses began to emerge from lockdown, a second wave occurred.
This has meant an extension of stimulus packages was needed.
So, where are we at now?
Early superannuation access
Originally, you had until September 24 to access the post June 30 portion of $10,000 of your super.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently announced an extension of this to December 31.
If you are considering it, there are a number of criteria you need to meet.
You need to be a citizen or permanent resident (temporary residents could only access the pre-June 30 withdrawal), who is one of the following:
-Unemployed or eligible for JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, the Parenting Payment, Special Benefit or the Farm Household Allowance.
-Made redundant, or had working hours reduced by 20 per cent or more, after January 1 this year.
-A sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of more than 20 per cent.
HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
All state and territory governments have now signed on and applications must be received no later than December 31, 2020.
Payment of the grants differs across three categories: new build, substantial renovations, or off-the-plan/new home purchase.
For new builds, you will be paid after construction has commenced and the first progress payment has been made to your builder.
For renovations, you’re paid after construction has commenced and at least $150,000 of the contract price has been paid in respect of the renovation.
For off-the-plan/new home purchases, grants will be paid after your name is registered on the title.
Grants will not be pre-approved or pre-paid and will be paid directly to you by your state or territory revenue office.
To be eligible you must:
-Be an Australian citizen, aged 18 plus.
-Earn up to $125,000 for singles or $200,000 for couples
-Have a dwelling of up to $750,000 for new builds, or
-Have a renovation price range of $150,000 to $750,000 on an existing home valued at $1.5 million max.
Note: The expenditure must be part of a contract with a registered or licensed builder.
Importantly, different states and territories have different requirements. Check your eligibility at the below sites:
The JobKeeper allowance was announced in March and initially intended to run through until September.
Employers receive the payment and pass on to employees.
On 21 July, the government announced it would be extended through to March 2021, with existing payments decreasing.
If you’re a full time worker, your payment of $1500 will become $1200 from 28 September and $1000 from 4 January, 2021.
If you work less than 20 hours a week,you’ll receive $750 a fortnight from 28 September and $650 from 4 January.
If you were already on JobSeeker payments from Centrelink, the government pledged an extra supplement of $550 a fortnight.
From 25 September, this will be reduced to $250.
Child care relief
More than 1 million families benefited from free childcare during the early stages of lockdown.
This ended on 12 July, with no current plans for an extension.
Small business loans
The government aimed to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) get access to funding by guaranteeing 50% of new unsecured loans.
More than 15,000 businesses have already accepted loans worth $1.5 billion in total.
Recently the scheme was extended until 30 June, 2021.
From 1 October this year the maximum eligible loan size will be increased to $1 million per borrower for a maximum term of 5 years; up from the previous $250,000 for a maximum of 3 years.
Secured lending will also be permitted (excluding commercial or residential property) and lenders are now able to offer repayment holidays if they like.
As always, there is no financial advise intended in this article. Please speak to a licensed Financial Adviser if required.