The Queensland Government has today announced the biggest single relief package of any Australian state or territory, putting forward $4 billion to support businesses, households and the health sector.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad (pictured) says two months worth of payroll tax will be refunded to businesses impacted by Covid-19, while SMEs will have a three-month payroll tax holiday plus a six-month deferral.
She notes the $4 billion package includes $2.5 billion for protecting Queensland businesses.
"I've been engaging with Queensland industry and business and we've taken on board what they've said," says Trad.
"Combined with the payroll tax deferrals we've already announced, it means no Queensland business impacted by Covid-19 will need to make a payroll tax payment this year."
The $2.5 billion business package includes $500 million for assisting workers who lose their jobs or incomes, and to help them find jobs in industries that are vital to getting the state through this crisis - health care, agriculture, food production, transport, cleaning and mining.
"We're waiving liquor licencing fees for venues that have had to close their doors, providing rent relief for businesses who rent premises from the state government and giving sole traders, small and medium businesses a $500 rebate on their power bill for this year," she says.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the measures are an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis.
"To date, this is the biggest single relief package assembled by any state or territory," the Premier says."Our $300 million household relief package will give Queensland households $200 off their utility bills, building on the $50 asset dividend we have already announced.
"Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have ever experienced, but I am determined my Government will support Queenslanders through it."
Minister for Health Steven Miles said protecting the health of Queenslanders is the Palaszczuk Government's number one priority.as we navigate through this pandemic.
"We are working to reduce the spread of the virus, but also to ensure we have enough capacity in the health system to support those who need intensive treatment," says Miles .
The State Government will invest an extra $1.2 billion to expand:
- fever clinics;
- emergency department capacity;
- acute care services; and
- regional aeromedical services for our remote communities.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman says today's stimulus package is in addition to recently announced initiatives, including the dedicated small business hotline (1300 654 687) which has seen around 2000 business contacts so far.
"We know our businesses are doing it incredibly tough right now. This package is designed to support themes keep their doors open through this crisis and keep their staff employed," says Fentiman.
"On top of our earlier measures including $500 million in concessional loans and our initial coronavirus assistance package last month, this takes our support package for Queensland workers and businesses to more than $3 billion.
"We will keep talking to businesses and unions and continue to work with the Federal Government to see what further measures can be taken to protect the jobs of Queenslanders."
The Queensland Government is following in the footsteps of Victoria who just yesterday announced a similar business support package worth $1.7 billion.
Like Trad's plan the Victorian stimulus package includes full payroll tax refunds for FY20 to SMES with payroll of less than $3 million.
Payments will begin flowing soon and will save eligible businesses up to $113,975 per year.
The same eligible businesses will be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cashflow.
Updated at 12:56 AEDT on 24 March 2020.
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