More businesses eligible for JobKeeper after rules eased

More businesses and workers will qualify for the JobKeeper wage subsidy after the Federal Government announced broader eligibility rules.

Businesses will be eligible for the scheme’s extension after September 28 if they can show that their GST turnover had fallen over one, rather than multiple, quarters.

Workers employed on July 1, rather than March 1, will also qualify.

The expansion is expected to cost the Federal Government an extra $15.6 billion.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said 80 per cent of the extra stimulus is expected to flow through to Victoria, which is in lockdown after COVID-19 numbers spiked.

He said the new rules, and the impact of Victoria’s stricter restrictions, will see the total cost of the JobKeeper program increase to $101.3 billion.

“Around $13 billion of that will make its way to Victoria with an extra 500,000 Victorian employees going on to JobKeeper through the September quarter,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Eye of the storm

CCIWA’s first Outlook report released since the outbreak of COVID-19, predicts stormy economic conditions as the JobKeeper scheme is pared back.

The report forecasts unemployment in WA will reach 11 per cent.

The unemployment rate, according to CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey, will feed a cycle of falling consumption (-3 per cent), falling business investment (-4.5 per cent), weak confidence and population growth plummeting to the lowest levels since 1916.

Volatility: the new normal

Businesses are being urged to get on top of their financial reporting ahead of the end of JobKeeper 1.0, and increasing economic uncertainty.

Business advisory and accountancy firm Brentnalls WA is hosting this month’s CCIWA Member Connect, exploring the implications of changes to this scheme for businesses and what should be done to manage the transition.

Brentnalls’ Director Tony Monisse says the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we live in a world where volatility is the new normal.

“We are seeing constantly changing and unpredictable challenges; the current COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuations in exchange rates, commodity prices as well as supply constraints,” he says.

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