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COVID-19: Stimulus package unveiled, Trump bans Europe travel, NBA cancelled

The Prime Minister has unveiled a $23 billion stimulus package, designed to keep people in work.

Small business will be given assistance to help with their cash flow, and wage subsidies for apprentices.

Pensioners and Newstart recipients will receive a one-off $750 payment from the end of this month.

Scott Morrison says these are temporary measures to get through the current downturn.

Here’s what we know:

  • Benefit recipients will get a $750 cash payment

Around 6.5 million Australians will receive an instant cash payment of $750.

Pensioners and all recipients of Newstart allowance, disability support payments, carers allowance, youth allowance, veterans support and the family tax benefit will receive the payment. health care card holders will also receive the cash payment.

Payments will begin being rolled out from March 31.

  • Businesses who employ apprentices will get wage subsidy payments

The government has announced payments of up to $21,000 per small business to ensure they can afford to keep almost 120,000 apprentices employed.

  • Small and medium sized businesses will receive cash flow payments

Almost 700,000 small businesses will be eligible for payments of up to $25,000 to assist through the tough period.

These payments will be available through businesses BAS.

Instant asset write off limits for businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million will also be expanded from $30,000 to $150,000.

  • A coronavirus regional and community fund will be set up

Regions and businesses which are most heavily impacted by the virus will be eligible for additional financial support through a regional and community fund established by the federal government.

The $1 billion fund will be available for things such as waiving national park fees and providing a tourism boost.

Meanwhile, all travel from Europe into the US is being suspended for a month – including all trade and cargo shipments.

The US will shut it’s borders in an effort to stop the spread of new cases of coronavirus.

The UK is exempt and US citizens overseas will be allowed to return home if they’ve been appropriately screened.

President Donald Trump says the strong but necessary action is needed.

Staying in the US, all NBA games will be suspended until further notice following the news a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19.

The NBA says the player has not been in an arena since being tested and they will use the break to plan for the rest of the season going forward.
Back home, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley says if Australia does not close its borders to travellers the country runs the risk of experiencing Italy’s exponential rise in coronavirus cases.

American actor Tom Hanks and his wife are in a Gold Coast hospital, after testing positive to coronavirus.

Hanks says they felt a bit tired, and had some body aches.

The couple is Down Under for the pre-production of BAZ LUHRMANN’s Elvis Presley film.

Back home, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley says if Australia does not close its borders to travellers the country runs the risk of experiencing Italy’s exponential rise in coronavirus cases.

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Liam Bartlett
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