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Federal & State Government Response to the NSW COVID-19 Crisis

Written by Sarah Pogson . July 13, 2021
10 min read

Today the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and the NSW State Premier, Gladys Berejiklian announced the latest business support packages in response to the current COVID-19 crisis in NSW. Below is an outline of the most recent information available so you can see what applies to you.

Contents

Federal Government Response

COVID-19 Disaster Payment Changes

Under the current regime, individuals who meet the relevant eligibility criteria can apply for a weekly payment of up to $500 through Services Australia (also known as Centrelink). This is set to increase from week four of lockdown, with the weekly payment now being up to $600 per week.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is split into two tiers, based on the number of hours lost per week for an individual. The table below outlines these tiers and the relevant changes to the payment rates:

Reduction in Hours per Week

Previous Payment Per Week

New Payment Per Week

Between 8 and 20 hours of work

$325

$375

20 hours or more of
work

$500

$600

 

In addition to the above, the Commonwealth intends to make the COVID-19 Disaster Payment a recurring payment for approved recipients for as long as the Commonwealth-declared hotspots and lockdown restrictions remain in place. This removes the need for those eligible to re-claim each week of lockdown. Applications from Friday 16th July will become recurring.

With the assistance of the NSW Government, this payment will also be available state-wide in NSW from 18th July 2021.

Small and Medium Business Support Payments (JobSaver)

The Federal Government has agreed to fund 50% of the Small and Medium Business Support Payments outlined in the State Government Response below.

Mental Health Support

The Federal Government outlined in their Media Release that they are committing $12.25 million towards the $17.35 million mental health support package for NSW. This includes:

  • A boost for crisis and mental health services including for Lifeline, free 24 hour support via Sonder and counselling for perinatal depression and anxiety

  • Funding towards mental health support for vulnerable and culturally and linguistically diverse communities

  • Assistance for young people through Headspace, Kids Helpline and the Butterfly Foundation

Business Tax Relief

As part of their Media Release, the Commonwealth intends to provide additional support through the tax system, by:

  • Making NSW Small Business Grants, including the new Small Business Payments, tax exempt

  • Providing administrative relief to NSW taxpayers facing hardship, including reduced payment plans, no interest charged on late payments and varying instalments on request

State Government Response

COVID-19 Disaster Payment Changes

As outlined above in the Federal Government Response, the NSW State Government will fund the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for those outside the current hotspot regions. This is effective from 18 July 2021 for the increased payment amounts.

Small and Medium Business Support Payments (JobSaver)

The NSW State Government will fund 50% of the Small and Medium Business Support Payments, now called JobSaver, with the other 50% being funded by the Federal Government. This payment will be implemented and administered by Service NSW.

Eligible employing entities will receive 40% of their NSW payroll payments, at a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $100,000 per week. For eligible non-employing entities, such as sole traders, the payment amount will be set at $1,000 per week. It is expected this payment will be made to eligible entities on a fortnightly basis.

Below we outline the eligibility details announced:

  • Available to non-employing and employing entities in NSW, including not-for-profits, with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $250 million.

  • To be eligible, employing entities will be required to maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.

Businesses can register their interest from 14 July 2021 via Service NSW. Applications for these payments will be separate and will be made via Service NSW.

We provide further details on eligibility criteria and application details here.

Micro-Business Grant

The NSW State Government have introduced the Micro Business Grant to assist small businesses and sole traders with the impact of COVID-19 with the introduction of a fortnightly payment.

Businesses with turnover greater than $30,000 but less than $75,000 with a turnover reduction of 30% will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight, starting from week 1 of the lockdown period.

Applications for this grant are expected to be open in late July 2021 and we provide details for the eligibility and application process here.

COVID-19 Business Support Grant

On 29 June 2021, the NSW State Government announced the introduction of the COVID-19 Business Support Grant, allowing eligible businesses to apply for a payment between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the decline in turnover experienced by the applicant.

The State Government has announced a further expansion to this grant, to increase the payment amount and to expand the eligibility criteria. This grant is expected to now be available to eligible businesses who have payroll costs of up to $10 million (previously $1.2 million). Further eligibility criteria has been released by Service NSW here.

The grant continues to be split into three tiers for the payment amount based on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. Below we outline the changes to these payment amounts:

Reduction in Turnover %

Previous Payment Amount

New Payment Amount

30% or more

$5,000

$7,500

50% or more

$7,000

$10,500

70% or more

$10,000

$15,000


The application for this grant is still expected to be available from 19 July 2021.

NSW Payroll Tax

As a part of the press conference held today, the NSW State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet outlined the NSW Government intends to provide the below measures in relation to NSW Payroll Tax:

  • NSW Payroll tax liabilities are expected to be deferred for the next 2 months.

  • For those businesses that have a reduction in turnover of 30% or more, and who have payroll of under $10 million, NSW payroll tax will be waived for the first quarter of the 2022FY.

Support for Tenants & Landlords

As a part of the press conference held today, the NSW State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet outlined the NSW Government intends to provide assistance for both tenants and landlords during this period with various measures.

The NSW State Government measures that are intended to be implemented include:

  • Mandate that there are no lockouts or evictions during this period of time

  • Landlords who provide rent reductions to their tenants for commercial properties will be provided with a rebate or discount for their NSW Land Tax payable.

  • Protect residential tenancies, with no evictions for the next 60 days, where those tenants have had a reduction in income of 25%.

  • Provide Land Tax rebates or discounts to residential landlords who provide rental relief to their tenants. For those landlords who are not subject to NSW Land Tax, it is expected a $1,500 payment will be provided to reduce the rental obligations for those tenants.

The information included above is based on information available as at 13 July 2021, through the Press Conference and Media Release. We will continue to provide you with updated information surrounding eligibility and application processes as more information becomes available. As always if you require any assistance with the above measures, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team members at BLG Business Advisers.

We wish you and your business every success!

*This information is relevant at the time of publishing and is subject to change*
Written by Sarah Pogson . July 13, 2021
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