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$130 Billion Package Designed To Save Distributors & Retailers Announced

The Prime Minister has unveiled a $130 billion economic package but to get access to this distributors and small retailers will have to prove to the tax office that their revenues have fallen 30% large retail chains earning over $1Billion 50%.

As ChannelNews tipped earlier today the formula for payment will be based on BAS returns, what is not known is whether retailers who were struggling prior to the Coronavirus and were on payment schemes with the tax offices will be allowed to count their losses prior to the epidemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the latest initiative is aimed at preserving jobs.

He further claimed that the economic survival package is an “economic lifeline” and a “uniquely Australian solution.”

The first measure is a “job keeper” payment, which is a wage subsidy extended to employers who keep on their employees, amounting to $1500 per employee per fortnight.

The measure is intended to last for six months.

The payment will apply to companies that have seen a 30 per cent reduction in revenue and, for firms with a turnover exceeding $1 billion, a 50 per cent reduction in business.

The payments will start to be issued in the first week of May and will be backdated to today.

The payments will be administered through the ATO, which means that employers and employees will not have to interface with CentreLink to access the fund

Distributors and small retailers who were looking to lay off staff are now being urged to retain staff.

Those with outstanding debt to small retailers will have to prove that the downturn in their business has happened after April 2020.

“This plan is about keeping these businesses together by keeping these employees in these businesses,” Mr Morrison said.

The payments will also be backdated to March 1, which means that employees who have been stood down may be able to remain on the books.

The Prime Minister urged any workers who had already been stood down to “ring up their employer,” emphasising that people could not access both the Jobseeker and the Job keeper payments.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has described the government’s new wage subsidy, which will cost $130 billion over six months, as the “best chance”

The subsidy is around 70 per cent of the median wage, and 100 per cent of the median wage in heavily hit sectors such as retail and hospitality, Mr Frydenberg said.

Mr Frydenberg said the payments will apply to sole-traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months.

“This is an incentive to keep people on doing actual work … they can keep them on the books, on the payrolls,” he said.

“This is not money for people to sit and do nothing.” The Australian Taxation Office will police the six month scheme to ensure subsidies are passed onto workers.

The scheme will also be available to category 4 visa holders from New Zealand.

All employers who have employees on the books from March 1 will be eligible for the subsidies. Businesses can apply for the subsidies from today.