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Further 5.2 Million Aussies Eligible For $750 Payment Under New Stimulus

Welfare and income support recipients will be eligible for a "time-limited" supplement to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic -- and millions more now qualify for a $750 one-off payment under new stimulus measures.

What you need to know
  • The Prime Minister has called for all non-essential travel to stop
  • Morrison said the government would consider 'draconian' measures to enforce social distancing
  • Extra $550 per fortnight to recipients of Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, and other Centrelink payments
  • Asset test and waiting period for Jobseeker allowance has been waived
  • Further $750 payment to those on income support who were not eligible for the first payment
  • Tax-free withdrawals of $10,000 from super accounts for those who lose 20 per cent or more of work/ income
  • All employing small businesses to receive $20,000 payment
  • $40 billion in loans to go to small and medium-sized businesses in unsecured loans
  • National cabinet meeting brought forward to tonight
  • All measures taken so far amount to $189 billion spent - 10 per cent of GDP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled a series of new measures on Sunday to help casual workers, sole traders, retirees and those on income support as part of the government's second $66 billion stimulus package.

It comes ten days after an initial $17.6 billion package was unveiled to help "cushion the blow" of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second package includes a new, time-limited coronavirus "supplement" to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Payment, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit at a rate of $550 per fortnight.

The supplement will be paid for the next six months at a cost of $14.1 billion.

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on March 12, the government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said roughly another 5.2 million Australians will now be eligible.

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The government is also allowing individuals in financial stress as a result of COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019/20 financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020/21.

"These withdrawals will be tax-free and available to those who are eligible for the coronavirus supplement as well as sole traders who have seen their hours work, or income fall, 20 per cent or more as a result of the coronavirus," Frydenberg said.

Frydenberg said the global and domestic economic environment has deteriorated since the government announced its first stimulus package.

"We now expect the economic shock to be deeper, wider and longer," he said.

Morrison said he has brought forward the next meeting of the National Cabinet to Sunday evening to deal with several mounting issues, including domestic travel and more "draconian" social distancing measures.

He said the government is immediately recommending all non-essential travel in Australia should be cancelled.

"After consulting with premiers and chief ministers overnight, we have decided we are moving immediately to recommend against all non-essential travel in Australia," Morrison said.

He said arrangements such as work-related travel and travel on compassionate grounds are exempt and "needed to keep Australia running".

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Morrison also foreshadowed further "draconian" measures to enforce social distancing measures, as he responded to the now widely-circulated images of crowds filling Bondi Beach in recent days.

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"What happened at Bondi Beach ... was not okay,  and served as a message to federal and state leaders that too many Australians are not taking these issues seriously enough," the PM said.

"It is a simple plea, we need you. We need you to do your bit when it comes to social distancing."