Amendments to the Federal Government’s JobSaver program along with increases to Disaster Payments and Support Packages in New South Wales and Victoria have been welcomed by industry associations as the latter cautiously emerges from lockdown.
In changes announced by NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, the NSW Business Support Payment will provide weekly cash boost of between AUD$1,500 and AUD$100,000 per week for businesses with turnovers up to AUD$250, with the funds to be used to pay bills and maintain their employee headcount.
In Victoria, the new AUD$400 million Support Package will provide cash flow boosts to hotels to help pay bills while operating under a strict one-person-per-four-square-metres capacity.
The state-based stimuli are on top of the Federal Government’s JobSaver Program which was recently increased to weekly payments of $750 for workers who have lost 20 hours or work per week or more, and $450 for those who have lost between eight and 20 hours in a week.
Australian Hotels Association CEO, Stephen Ferguson, said the payment increases show the state and federal governments were willing to listen to industry calls.
“The assistance to business is welcome and helps keep people’s head above water but those businesses continue to accrue substantial levels of debt each and every day that they remain closed or under restrictions – debt that must be repaid,” Ferguson warned.
“Our employees just want to get back to work but getting money into their pockets as quickly as possible will help them navigate this crisis and we commend both tiers of Government for their timely response.”
The Accommodation Association says the easing of restrictions in Victoria are welcome but more targeted support for Melbourne’s hotels and its workers is needed due to the city’s reliance on travellers from Sydney and overseas.
“Put simply, Melbourne’s hotels need help,” said Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long.
“There are some immediate steps that the state government can and should take including the expansion of the Metro Travel Voucher scheme with money left over from the previous program rolled over and supplemented; the waiver of Government charges on payroll tax and land tax relief for the Accommodation Industry; and sector-targeted moratorium on tenant evictions and amendments to the Mandatory Tenancy Code.”
Long said the Association would support the introduction of job anchor programs similar to JobKeeper.