On Thursday, the Australian government has announced its coronavirus response package of $17.6 billion. It will include the cash payments of $750 for each of the 6.5 million Australians. That is a total budget of $4.76 billion.
Accordingly, a number of the eligible beneficiaries will get funding starting March 31, with the rest receiving it by April 17.
On the other hand, those who are receiving government pension –an estimated 2.4 million OAPs in total – are set to receive tax-exempt benefits.
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that the cash injection would support small to medium enterprises. Eventually, it will keep the country’s economy afloat as more people will get to keep their jobs. “[It] means people can continue to participate positively in the economy and have greater confidence going forward,” he added.
Who Are Eligible for the $750 Coronavirus Response Benefit?
The Australian government released a statement declaring those who receive the following welfare payments as qualified for the aid. These welfare payments are:
- Old-age pension
- Wife (age) pension
- Disability support pension
- Carer allowance
- Carer payment
- Parenting payment
- Widow B pension
- Double Orphan Pension.
- Widow Allowance
- ABSTUDY Living allowance
- Youth Allowance
- Bereavement Allowance
- Partner Allowance
- Farm Household Allowance
- Newstart Allowance
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Family Tax Benefit A
- Family Tax Benefit B
On the other hand, if you use the following concession cards: pensioner concession card, veteran gold card, and commonwealth seniors’ health card, you may also become eligible for the $750 benefit.
Other than the above mentioned, individuals who are receiving payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will also receive the aforementioned financial aid from the government. These include:
- Veteran Income Support Supplement
- Veteran Service Pension
- War Widow/Widower Pension
- Veteran Compensation Payments (including lump-sum payments)
Will There Be Additional Funding for Those Eligible?
For those who are qualified for the $750 financial aid from the government, you are only eligible for a single claim for cash payment.
What Does This Mean to Those in Newstart and Youth Allowance Benefits?
Rachel Siewert, Greens WA Senator, proclaimed that Youth Allowance and Newstart payments must have a permanent increase. She expressed her frustration saying, “This is an insult to all those people condemned to living below the poverty
She also released a statement via her official Twitter account last March 13. “It is a failure of the Government that they did not include an increase to #Newstart & Youth Allowance in the stimulus package despite clear advice from economists of the economic benefits and the fact that those on Newstart are living in deep poverty.” She believed that those below the poverty line would need additional payment because the aid is not enough.
Agreeing with Siewert, the Australian Council of Social Services also expressed their sentiments saying the cash payments are welcome but are not adequate. Cassandra Goldie, the ACOSS CEO, believes the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic are those on Newstart and Youth Allowance and homeless pensioners.
Goldie claims if the Australian government increases the Newstart payment by $95 a week ongoing, it can add $4 billion into the country’s economy eventually. Besides, it can potentially help generate over 12,000 jobs.