AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

The Australian government recently released their fourth stimulus package, which has been dubbed “HomeBuilder”. To entice spending in the nation’s economy, the new package worth AUD $680 million would provide up to AUD $25,000 to build or renovate a home. Certain income restrictions will apply.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Australia has approved more than AUD $320 billion in emergency relief and economic stimulus measures.

The initial round of AUD $17.6 billion will provide nearly AUD $4 billion in asset write off ability to spur investment, along with AUD $8 billion for small and mid-size employers. The latter will consist AUD $6.7 billion for direct payments of up to $25,000 for eligible employers under AUD $50 million annual turnover, and another AUD $1.3 billion for job training and workforce development programs.

Further, the first package will provide AUD $1 billion to support the most affected regions dependent upon tourism.

The second stimulus package from the Australian Government, which totaled more than AUD $66 billion, delivered temporary relief, financial support, and direct grants to employers.
Eligible small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits can capture direct grants of up to AUD $100,000 based on wage tax withholdings. To support small and medium sized businesses get access to capital, the new package established the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme by allocating AUD $20 billion to leverage AUD $40 billion in loans. The aid, among other mechanisms, also provided up to AUD $715 million for the struggling aviation industry in Australia.

The third economic response package was highlighted by an unprecedented $130 billion JobKeeper Payment scheme. Under the program, eligible businesses may access a wage subsidy to incentivize them to retain employees. If maintaining payroll, companies will receive a fortnightly (biweekly) payment of AUD $1,500 per eligible employee. The program commenced on 30 March 2020 and is set to run for a period of six months.

For more details on the economic response programs from the Australian Government, visit the Australian Treasury website.