The New South Wales government is allocating $2.3 billion to battle the coronavirus, with $1.6 billion dedicated to economic stimulus measures designed to keep people in jobs.
A total of $450 million will go towards waiving payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for three months, Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed, meaning that these businesses will not have to pay tax for the rest of the financial year.
According to the government, this means these businesses will save a quarter of their annual payroll tax bill in 2019–20.
The government has also allocated $80 million to waive a range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafés, restaurants and tradies, as well as $56 million to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020–21.
“This package works hand in hand with the recent moves by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the federal government. It will provide more resources to help slow the spread of this virus and boost treatment for those people in our community who need it most,” said Premier Berejiklian.
Queensland offers $500m in loans
Also extending a helping hand, after first offering payroll tax deferral to small and medium businesses at the start of March, the Queensland government has made $500 million available in loans to support workers in businesses affected by the coronavirus.
The Palaszczuk government said it will create a new $500 million loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support businesses to keep Queenslanders in work, while also extending the coronavirus payroll tax deferral to all businesses across the state.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rapidly evolving impacts of the pandemic demanded a rapidly evolving response from the government.
“We know the effects of this outbreak will grow and intensify, and as they do, so will our measures to protect Queenslanders’ health, their jobs and their businesses,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the $500 million concessional loan facility would comprise loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest-free period for businesses to retain staff.
Ms Trad said in just two weeks, the initial offer of payroll tax deferral had already been taken up by almost 300 small and medium businesses.
“As the Prime Minister has pointed out, it’s small businesses that are hurting the most, and it’s them we moved to help first with our initial payroll tax deferral earlier this month,” she said.
“But we are seeing this outbreak is having a devastating impact on all Queensland companies, large and small, so now we will extend the offer of a six-month payroll tax deferral to all affected businesses across the state.”
As with the initial payroll tax deferral offer, the government confirmed that the Office of State Revenue will also work with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.