The new measure will be available from next week — the fourth week of Greater Sydney’s lockdown — and will see eligible businesses receive a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 per week.
It will be available to non-employing and employing entities in NSW, including not-for-profits, with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million.
Entities will be eligible if their turnover is 30 per cent lower than an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
The payment rate will be based on 40 per cent of their NSW payroll payments. Non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, will see the payment capped at $1,000 each week.
To receive the payment, entities will be required to maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new payments were modelled on the cash flow boost measure that was introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year but will be jointly funded between the Commonwealth and New South Wales.
“What we’ve learnt during the pandemic is you do what works. When you need to do it again, you do what works,” said Mr Morrison.
“The support that’s been provided through this cash flow boost is not only commensurate with what was provided last time, but in most cases, it’s actually greater because it needs to be more concentrated.
“It’s kicking in in week four and it will go for as long as the lockdown requires.”
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also revealed that micro-businesses earning more than $30,000 but less than $75,000 would also receive a backdated $1,500 per fortnight payment from week one of the lockdown if they have seen a 30 per cent reduction in turnover.
Payroll tax liabilities will also be deferred for two months.
Disaster payments boosted
Mr Morrison also announced an increase to the COVID disaster payment, which has been bumped from $500 to $600 for those who work more than 20 hours each week, and from $325 to $375 for those who have lost between “eight and 20 hours a week”.
The payment’s eligibility criteria have been broadened to include all residents of NSW, too, and are no longer limited to those under lockdown in regions declared hotspots by the Commonwealth. The broadened scope of the payment, however, is limited to residents of NSW, as its cost will be offset by the state government.
“The NSW outbreak has proved to be more severe, more dangerous, and it’s in the national interest that we now put in place an upgraded set of arrangements for co-operation with the states and territories,” Mr Morrison said. “Within that, we will first be put in place here with NSW when lockdowns enter into more protracted situations.”
Mr Perrottet has also announced additional state support to both residential and commercial tenants as part of the announcement. The treasurer announced a land tax rebate to commercial landlords in a bid to stave off commercial evictions.
“We want to encourage retailers right across NSW to work with landlords to make sure that we all get through this difficult time together,” he said.
The state will also provide residential tenancy protections by ruling out any evictions for the next 60 days for workers who have seen an income reduction of at least 25 per cent, and are “doing it tough”. The same land tax rebates will be made to residential landlords, too.
More to come.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.