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The Federal Government will extend the emergency payments for another six months – but anyone currently receiving it, needs to check the fine-print.
By Julie Nipperess
Many businesses and workers let out a collective sigh of relief this week when the Federal Government announced that it would extend Job Keeper for another six months.
With a second wave of the virus in Melbourne, as well as hot spots starting to emerge in Sydney, everyone is understandably concerned that we’ll go back into lockdown, but the reality is we can’t afford to do that.
Moving people back into work and back to school and back into public places was always going to be a precarious time. And a resurgence of the virus was always a possibility.
The thing is, we need to come out from under the doona at some point and and start to rebuild the economy.
To that end, the Government has made some important announcements this week which will go a long way towards supporting small business, and workers over the coming months.
Payments will now be in place until March 28 next year, however, they will be cut from $1500 to $1200 for full time workers and down to $750 for part-timers, with the payments set to drop further in January 2021.
The coronavirus supplement which was added to Job Seeker (originally $550) will come down to $250 as of September.
Job Trainer and Job Maker have also been announced. These are schemes that employers can apply for as an incentive to create jobs. They’re also good news, considering that about 800,000 people have become unemployed since the start of Covid-19, and by December we’ll have hundreds of thousands of school leavers also looking for work.
While the Government is doing what it can to prop up the economy at this very uncertain time, the important thing for all of us to do right now is to protect our own finances.
That means, sticking to the budget, saving where you can, and making plans in case of a ‘worst case scenario’ like losing your job if you still have one, or potentially having to spend many weeks out of work.
The truth is that we just don’t really know what the next six months will bring. Originally the experts were divided about whether or not this was going to be the ‘worst recession we’ve ever had’ or whether it was going to be hard, but swift. Of course, a lot will depend on how we manage the virus. And while I don’t like to buy into the ‘doom and gloom’, I do believe that ‘proceeding with caution’ is still the way to move forward right now.
Keep focused on your money – know your income and what you are spending.
By all means access government assistance if you need to, but make sure you know what you’re entitled to. Those who’ve accessed superannuation without meeting the eligibility requirement will face the consequences of the ATO, so if you’re not sure, get professional advice, from a tax agent, or make your own enquiries with the ATO.
If we can help, contact us.
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of Step Up Financial Group Pty Ltd ASFL No: 512509.