Government responds to pandemic with $17.6 billion stimulus package

The Federal Government has announced household stimulus payments and cash flow assistance for employers to counteract the social and economic challenges anticipated by Covid-19.

Current disruptions affecting the global economy have prompted the Morrison Government to deliver one-off payments for households with family tax benefits to encourage spending and an instant asset write-off in addition to wage assistance for apprentices and trainees.

For business, the package includes increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.

For transport operators the introduction of a time limited 15-month investment incentive until 30 June 2021 is aimed at supporting business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Cash flow assistance will be provided for up to 70,000 businesses challenged by the economic impacts of the coronavirus and to help with employee retention.

This will include approximately 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people, with payments of between $2,000 and $25,000 to help pay wages or hire extra staff.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed measures outlined in the $17.6 billion stimulus package announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“The transport sector had been hit hard by the impacts of the coronavirus on domestic and international supply chains, with imports and exports experiencing short-term declines due to a reduction in demand from China during the peak of the outbreak there,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.

“We are seeing signs of recovery from China however, and transport operators should have every confidence that demand for consumer goods, building, construction and other raw materials will be sustained by measures outlined in the Commonwealth stimulus package to keep the economy ticking over,” he said.

“I urge any transport operator experiencing hardship to contact to take advantage of support that is now available, and to contact the VTA or their state-based transport association for guidance and assistance during this challenging time.”

According to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) the range of economic stimulus measures announced by the Prime Minister must be matched by other practical actions from governments at all levels to ensure supply chains remain resilient.

“Many aspects of the Federal Government’s stimulus package today will be welcomed in the logistics sector, in particular the extension of the instant asset writeoff which can be used by businesses to modernise equipment and vehicles, delivering a range of safety and productivity benefits,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.

“However, economic stimulus measures need to be matched by a commitment to additional practical actions in order to meet some of the supply chain challenges that the COIVD-19 situation is presenting.”

(Image: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison).

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