NSW Unveils New COVID-19 Support Package
Published 6:57 am 20 Jul 2021
The New South Wales government has just released its COVID-19 relief package following an extension to lockdowns.
New South Wales’ lockdowns have been extended for 2 weeks, set to remain in place until July 30th after NSW reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 today.
Speaking on the lockdown extension, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said:
“We want to get out of this lockdown as soon as we can and that is why we have the settings in place that we have.”
The Premier went on to say that “unless you’re providing essential food or services, people should not be leaving their home.”
It’s estimated that the lockdowns are costing NSW $1 billion per week, which has prompted the federal government to unveil a new COVID-19 assistance package specific to New South Wales to support businesses impacted by the ongoing restrictions.
NSW’s Pandemic Stimulus
New South Wales’ newly released stimulus package will be funded by both the federal and state governments as a means of mitigating the fallout of the recent lockdowns.
“Our number one priority remains the health and safety of the people of NSW while also keeping our economy strong as we manage the current COVID-19 challenge,” said NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.
The NSW Government has already implemented a disaster relief payment of $500 a week which can be claimed by individuals in a nationally recognised hotspot for seven days and who are unable to work. For those in the same position that work fewer than 20 hours a week, they are currently eligible to receive $325.
Both the $500 and $325 payments will be increased in the new stimulus package, up to $600 and $375 respectively.
Additionally, payments will be sent out to businesses with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million that can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover, on the condition that they maintain staff levels as of July 13th 2021.
The support package website states:
Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1000 per week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke on the stimulus package, stating:
“As lockdowns extend into another week in NSW, households and businesses need this assistance to get them through the lockdown to the other side, ready to reopen.”
In addition to supporting businesses and workers impacted by the lockdowns, the NSW government will be providing $17.35 million towards mental health, via Lifeline, Headspace and the Kid’s Helpline.
Vaccination Rates Are Key
Australia’s vaccination rates are slowly edging upward after a sluggish rollout, with more than 10 percent of the adult population now fully vaccinated.
According to the ABC, there are roughly 901,835 doses administered weekly, at which rate Australia’s adult population can expect to be fully vaccinated by early March 2022.
Additionally, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined a four-phased plan for Australia to reopen, however, the Federal government has received criticism for “bungling” the vaccine rollout, particularly when it comes to the supply of Pfizer vaccines.
The government is reportedly confident that it will receive one million doses of Pfizer each week as of July 19th, which should equate to 40 million doses this calendar year. Pfizer vaccines are in higher demand as of late, as they have been recommended for those under 60. Additionally, the recent case of a 72-year-old woman who died from blood clotting shortly after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine has prompted greater demand for the Pfizer vaccine.
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