Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Reveals Third Stimulus Package Could Help Renters
10 News First Political Editor Peter van Onselen was joined by Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for an exclusive interview on Sunday.
The government announced on Sunday a $66 billion stimulus package to help businesses and workers stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
The second stimulus came just 10 days after the first multi-billion dollar package delivered by the government and granted an extra $550 per fortnight to recipients of Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, and other Centrelink payments.
All employing small businesses will receive a $20,000 payment and $40 billion in unsecured loans to go to small and medium-sized businesses to help keep them afloat.
Mathias Cormann, the federal Finance Minister, has flagged a third stimulus package at some point in the future, and Frydenberg defended the decision not to implement it right now.
“There is always more work to be done, and this [second] package is well-targeted, it’s temporary and it’s focusing on supporting the welfare system and the safety net, but also small businesses,” the treasurer said.
But Frydenberg did reveal the third stimulus package could help renters and said he's been in contact with the states’ treasurers on Sunday to discuss further measures.
“We’re looking at initiatives, particularly around relieving some of the pressures for people who rent,” he told 10 News First.
“There’s a lot of work going on, this is obviously a deteriorating economic situation, both globally and domestically, so it’s not ‘set and forget’ either, with package one or package two.”
The increasing of unemployment benefits in the second stimulus package is the government enhancing the safety net, Frydenberg said, and he admitted many Australian households are likely to experience “income shock” if they lose their jobs in the near future.
“There will also be others like sole traders who want to continue to work, or casuals who want to continue to work but may have fewer hours or a lower income so we will make allowances for that as well,” he added.
“Importantly, you can earn up to $1075 a fortnight and still get that $550 a fortnight from the coronavirus supplement.”
For those who are experiencing financial hardship, the stimulus package will also allow people to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free this financial year, and another $10,000 next financial year.
“It’s the people’s money,” Frydenberg stressed.
“I think this is really important that they can access this money at a time when they need it most."