The government’s multibillion-dollar stimulus package will keep “Australians in jobs and businesses in business” as the coronavirus begins to impact the economy.
The stimulus package will be worth $17.69 billion.
The largest part of the money – $6.7 billion – will go to small businesses, which will be able to access up to $25,000 in payments.
“Our plan will back Australian households with a stimulus payment to boost growth, bolster domestic confidence and consumption, reduce cash flow pressures for businesses and support new investments to lift productivity,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told media in Canberra.
“Australia is not immune to the global coronavirus challenge but we have already taken steps to prepare for this looming international economic crisis.
The stimulus package will also include a $700 million instant asset write-off scheme for assets up to $150,000. Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) will be able to access the scheme until 30 June 2020. Also on the agenda is a $3.2 billion investment incentive that will see businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of asset cost in the year of purchase.
“Our targeted stimulus package will focus on keeping Australians in jobs and keeping businesses in business so we can bounce back strongly,” Mr Morrison said.
“The economy needs temporary help right now to bounce back better so the livelihoods of all Australians are protected.”
Households receiving government assistance – primarily pensioners – will also receive payments of $750.
“Each measure is temporary, each measure is targeted, and each measure is proportionate to the challenges we face,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told media in Canberra.
The measures won’t extend beyond 30 June next year.
The announcement comes as the ACT reports its first case of the coronavirus and the World Health Organisation declares the outbreak a global pandemic.