Australia Unveils Second Economic Package

The Australian government announced a second set of economic responses to support households and businesses and address the economic consequences of the coronavirus, or, covid-19.

The latest announcement together with the initial package will take overall stimulus to A$189 billion or 9.7 percent of Australia’s GDP.

“We will be doing everything we can to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of this crisis and to preserve the businesses that employ them,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, said. “There will be more support to come.”

The government enhanced the cash flow support for eligible small and medium-sized businesses to A$100,000. The government will guarantee 50 percent of SME loans.

The instant asset write-off threshold was raised to A$150,000 from A$30,000.

The government also introduced a time-limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Measures also include early release of pension savings and temporary reductions of superannuation minimum drawdown requirements.

A$550 payment for recipients of Jobseeker payment, youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit.

Two separate A$750 payments to support household incomes. Half of those eligible recipients are pensioners.

Australia is moving closer to shutting down a large share of its services sector and the GDP is expected to fall by 4 percent this year, Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

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