Tag: Mr Morrison
As Australia’s economy is left reeling from the flow-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government has unveiled a suite of new measures designed to soften the blow.
The $66 billion package includes relief for retirees, and a “safety net” for workers already bearing the brunt of the crisis.
With no end in sight, it’s sure to be a welcome relief for those who’ve been calling for a lifeline.
But what do the new measures actually mean for your pay packet? And who is set to benefit?
1. Casuals and sole traders
If you’ve found yourself affected by the economic downturn, you’ll be able to access a “coronavirus supplement” of $550 a fortnight for the next six months.
That’s on top of other benefits — so if you’re already receiving payments through Jobseeker (formerly known as Newstart), you can claim both.
Sole traders and casual workers who are currently making less than $1,075 a fortnight will be eligible to receive the full supplement.
In practice, that means if you’re a single parent (receiving a maximum fortnightly payment of $612 through Jobseeker), for example, and you meet the criteria, you’ll take home about $1,162 a fortnight.
“This means anyone eligible for the maximum Jobseeker payment will now receive more than $1,100 a fortnight, effectively doubling the Jobseeker allowance,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
Sole traders or casual workers who have had their income or hours reduced by 20 per cent or more as a result of coronavirus will also be able to access to up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free.
If you’re not eligible to receive the coronavirus supplement, you could still be able to claim a $750 stimulus payment.
The payment will be made automatically from July 13 to about 5 million Australians, including those receiving the age pension, a carers allowance or family tax benefit and Commonwealth senior card holders.
That’s in addition to a separate $750 stimulus payment announced earlier this month.
“This is clearly saying that we expect this to go on for some time and we know that those vulnerable groups may need additional income support during those periods,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“Yes, it will provide some sort of support for the economy, but it will also provide some very real financial support for the most vulnerable in our community.”
Deeming rates will be reduced by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA, which follows similar cuts made earlier this month.
This is important because deeming rates are used for the pension income assessment — and therefore affect how much someone will receive through their pension.
From the beginning of May, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.
To put things in perspective, when deeming rates were reduced by half a percentage point in the first stimulus package, National Seniors estimated age pensioners would receive on average an additional $219 per year.
According to the Government, the change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including age pensioners, and is estimated to cost $876 million over the forward estimates period.
4. Employers who want to keep staff
Not-for-profits and small businesses with a turnover under $50 million will receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them retain staff and continue operating.
The Government expects 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people and 30,000 not-for-profits will be eligible for measures in the stimulus package.
It doesn’t mean extra pocket money if you’re an employee, but by linking the payments to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be given an incentive to hold on to more of their workers.
“We know that small businesses are enormously resilient but this is really hurting them,” Mr Morrison said.
“Whether it is a coffee shop or mechanic or hairdresser… by providing at a minimum $20,000 and up to $100,000 for small businesses who employ people, [it] gives them a chance to get to the other side.”
Expect more to come…
An important thing to keep in mind is that this is the second suite of measures announced by the Government in just a matter of weeks.
The first, announced on March 12, also included one-off cash payments for welfare recipients, and changes to welfare payments for casual workers who contracted COVID-19 or had to isolate themselves.
In announcing Sunday’s package, Mr Morrison himself warned that it would not be his “last visit to these podiums”.
“There will be more packages and more support,” he said.
“There will be more issues that even now have not presented themselves or could not even be conceived at this point.”
So, if you’re doing it tough, expect more measures in the near future.
What the experts are saying about coronavirus:
- Coronavirus ‘cures’ and preventions around the world: experts look at what they are, and if they work
- ‘Go home and you isolate and you obey those rules’: Chief Medical Officer warns of steep growth in cases
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed he has coronavirus.
- Peter Dutton tested positive after waking up with a temperature and sore throat
- He will remain in hospital where he will be treated for the virus
- The Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers will not go into self-isolation
The Federal Government frontbencher said he felt fine but woke up with a temperature and sore throat.
“I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19,” Mr Dutton said in a statement.
“I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon that the test had returned positive.
“It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.
“I feel fine and will provide an update in due course.”
Mr Dutton was in Sydney for a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and returned to Brisbane on a commercial flight on the same day.
“In advice provided to the Prime Minister this evening, the deputy chief medical officer has reiterated that only people who had close contact with the Minister in the preceding 24 hours before he became symptomatic need to self-isolate,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“That does not include the Prime Minister or any other members of the Cabinet.”
Mr Morrison will not be tested for COVID-19, based on medical advice.
Mr Dutton participated in Cabinet’s national security committee meeting on Thursday, during which the Government decided to extend its China, Italy, Iran and South Korean travel bans, via phone.
The US deputy press secretary, Judd Deere, released a statement saying the White House was aware Mr Dutton had tested positive for COVID-19.
Mr Dutton had been in the US last week, where he met with Ivanka Trump, Attorney-General William Barr and officials from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance on March 6, according to a Twitter post from Australia’s embassy in the United States.
“He was asymptomatic during the interaction,” the statement said.
“Exposures from the case were assessed and the White House Medical Unit confirmed, in accordance with CDC guidance, that Ivanka is exhibiting no symptoms and does not need to self-quarantine.
“She worked from home today out of an abundance of caution until guidance was given.”
When someone contracts COVID-19, health officials alert people who have been in contact with them.
They are then expected to self-isolate at home and monitor their health for 14 days after the contact with the infected person.
“Following confirmation the Minister for Home Affairs has tested positive for coronavirus, he has been isolated according to the policies of Queensland Health,” the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said.
“Queensland Health will undertake the appropriate contact tracing.”
Earlier on Friday, Mr Morrison met with state and territory leaders to assess Australia’s response to the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Dutton missed his usual Friday morning appearance on commercial TV, at the time being described as having a “stomach bug”.
On Monday, he opened a new Moreton Bay campus for the University of the Sunshine Coast, alongside Education Minister Dan Tehan and former defence chief Angus Houston.
Mr Dutton met with United States Attorney-General William Barr and US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka while in Washington DC last week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has gone into 14-day isolation after his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, tested positive for coronavirus.
Australian Defence Force (ADF) Chief Angus Campbell called Scott Morrison, uncomfortable about Defence imagery being used in a promotional video posted by the Prime Minister at the height of the bushfire crisis.
- Scott Morrison posted a video on social media after announcing Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel would join the bushfire response efforts
- Labor criticised the video, accusing the Government of politicising the crisis
- ADF Chief Angus Campbell admitted he was “discomfited” by the video
In early January, the Prime Minister posted a video on social media outlining the Coalition’s response to the bushfire emergency, with blazes raging across a number of states.
The video mentioned the deployment of ADF personnel to assist with the response, as well as extra money the Federal Government was allocating to areas such as water-bombing operations.
Scott Morrison tweet on January 4 2020: "We’re putting more Defence Force boots on the ground, more planes in the sky, more ships to sea, and more trucks to roll in to support the bushfire fighting effort and recovery as part of our co-ordinated response to these terrible #bushfires"
The Federal Opposition was highly critical of the video, accusing the Prime Minister of turning the summertime inferno into an opportunity for political advertising — given the video carried an official authorisation message at the end from Mr Morrison.
In Senate Estimates, Labor senators took the opportunity to raise the matter with General Campbell.
“Whenever the Australian Defence Force, or any other apolitical body, finds itself between political parties, I am discomfited,” he told an estimates committee.
“The Australian Defence Force in particular needs to, wherever possible, always be in a non-partisan both reality and perception.
“I’m discomfited, but I didn’t see ill intent in the actions.
“I appreciate that this conversation is an example of where the ADF does not want to be.”
General Campbell said he called Mr Morrison a short time after the video was posted and personally raised his concerns.
Labor seized upon the comments, attacking the Prime Minister over the issue in Question Time.
“The Liberal Party did not post an advertisement,” Mr Morrison said.
“This was important information communicated to the Australian people.
“I observed, Mr Speaker, the requirements of the Australian Electoral Act that any such videos need a proper authorisation, and that authorisation was provided.”
Mr Morrison then accused the Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, of using the bushfire emergency to post videos to social media.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his father, John, has died “quietly and peacefully” at the age of 84.
Mr Morrison said in a statement that he “received the sad news” on Wednesday night that his “much-loved” father, a former policeman and councillor, had died.
“He was a loving husband to my mum Marion for 57 years,” Mr Morrison said.
“He was a wonderful father to me and my brother Alan. He loved Jen as a daughter and was a devoted grandfather to our girls.”
John Morrison was a former officer with NSW Police and had served as a local councillor and mayor at Sydney’s Waverley Council.
“He lived a great life and was much loved,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison has repeatedly paid tribute to his father since becoming Prime Minister in 2018.
“My parents laid the foundation for my life,” the Prime Minister said in his first speech in the Federal Parliament.
“Together with my brother, Alan, they demonstrated through their actions their Christian faith and the value they placed on public and community service. In our family, it has never been what you accumulate that matters, but what you contribute.
“I thank them for their sacrifice, love and, above all, their example.”
Mr Morrison’s mother, Marion, appeared with her son and his family during the election campaign.
His father was present on election night when Mr Morrison and the Coalition unexpectedly won the federal election.
“Dad had a deep and committed Christian faith, which is one of his numerous legacies in my life,” Mr Morrison said on Thursday.
“Our family will miss him terribly, but we are extremely thankful for his great blessing in all of our lives.”
Senior NSW Liberal Andrew Constance says the Prime Minister got “the welcome he probably deserved” when he was yesterday heckled by angry residents in a bushfire-ravaged town.
- Mr Constance, is the NSW Government’s Transport Minister
- The PM yesterday visited the town of Cobargo, which is in Mr Constance’s electorate
- Mr Morrison said he wouldn’t take Mr Constance’s comments personally
Pictures from Scott Morrison’s awkward visit to Cobargo, on the NSW South Coast, were beamed around the world and went viral on social media.
People in the town, where a father and son died in a blaze earlier this week, shouted and heckled the Prime Minister during the brief trip.
Mr Constance said he was not aware Mr Morrison would be visiting his electorate of Bega, which includes Cobargo, and told Seven News that “I haven’t had a call from him”.
Speaking from Bairnsdale, in Victoria’s fire-affect East Gippsland region, the Prime Minister apologised to Mr Constance and said “I totally understand how he’d be feeling”.
“I’ve reached out to him today, and offered that apology to him,” Mr Morrison said.
“I was under the understanding that we had made contact with him. That wasn’t the case. And that’s regretted.
“But I assumed that he was otherwise occupied on that day, which would be completely understandable.
“But Andrew’s been through a terrible, terrible experience and ordeal, and so I totally understand how he’d be feeling.”
Speaking on Sunrise, Mr Constance had earlier savaged the Prime Minister.
“To be honest with you, the locals probably gave him the welcome he probably deserved,” he said.
“I say this to the Prime Minister today, the nation wants you to open up the cheque books, obviously help people rebuild their lives.”
Mr Morrison’s visit to Cobargo made international headlines.
During one particularly tense interaction, Mr Morrison grabbed the hand of a woman who had refused to shake his hand.
As the Prime Minister was leaving, people swore at him and told him he should be “ashamed of himself” after he “left the country to burn”.
In another exchange, Mr Morrison grabbed the hand of an exhausted firefighter in Cobargo who told him “I don’t really want to shake your hand”.
“Tell that fella I’m really sorry, I’m sure he’s just tired,” Mr Morrison told a local incident controller afterwards.
“No, no. He lost a house,” the area’s fire controller responded.
Mr Morrison was criticised for holidaying in Hawaii while the deadly bushfire emergency gripped NSW and Queensland in December.
Some people have also taken aim at his Government for not doing enough to combat climate change.
Mr Constance, who defended his own home in the area from flames on Tuesday, said “this was the feeling people were going through”.
“Having lived through this myself, it’s tough,” he said.
“You can’t experience this … it’s cruel, it’s nasty. The Cobargo community lost people, a wonderful family there.”
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stood by Mr Constance during an interview with 2GB on Friday morning.
“I don’t begrudge anyone who is on the ground … I don’t begrudge anyone for feeling the way they do,” she said.
“I know Andrew has raw emotion as do many members of his community and I don’t blame people for feeling angry.”
Liz Innes, the Mayor of the neighbouring Eurobodalla Shire Council, apologised to the Prime Minister in the wake of his chaotic visit.
“There’s a few examples of not so great behaviour and so I just want to say sorry to Scott Morrison for the behaviour and treatment he received,” she said.
“Look I know people are scared, they’re angry, they’re hurt but that’s not the images that I want to see coming out of my beautiful area.”
After the confrontations in Cobargo, Mr Morrison told the ABC: “I’m not surprised people are feeling very raw at the moment.
“That’s why I came today, to be here, to see it for myself [and] offer what comfort I could.
“I understand the strong feelings people have; they’ve lost everything. There’s been a lot of emotion … and I understand that emotion.”
More bushfire coverage:
- Live blog: Fires in NSW and Victoria still burning as communities prepare to assess damage
- Ferocious blaze rips through properties in idyllic Southern Highlands west of Sydney
- Alpine towns evacuate as firefighters deal with ‘double-edge sword’ of rain
- Bright orange, then pitch black as Qantas flight hits turbulence in fire’s cloud
- ‘Just magnificent’: Farmer fights back tears as ‘army of angels’ convoy arrives
- Eden’s wharf offered a refuge from fire, then police warned it wasn’t safe
- Farmers grapple with how to dispose of livestock killed in bushfires
- Morrison denies Facebook post an advertisement as he announces fires recovery agency
- NSW fires blanket Canberra in thick smoke, leading to orange skies and poor air quality
- Coming back from holidays? Here’s what you need to know about the Australian bushfires