House debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:51 pm

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Boothby for her question. Building on what the Prime Minister has said, the government is establishing a new time-limited coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This means anyone eligible for the maximum jobseeker payment will now receive more than $1,100 a fortnight, effectively doubling the payment for the next six months. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the jobseeker payment, the youth allowance, the parenting payment, the farm household allowance and the special benefit.

Eligible income-support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight. We're also waiving the one-week ordinary waiting period, the liquid asset waiting period and the newly arrived resident waiting period. In addition, there are a range of other supplements that are triggered when someone gains access to the jobseeker payment. This includes the energy supplement, the pharmaceutical allowance and the Commonwealth rent assistance, which pays up to $139 for singles and more for families. The government provides family tax benefit A and B, which potentially puts hundreds of dollars more into the pocket of those families to help cushion the blow in this difficult time.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister announced further $750 payments will be made to Australians on income support who are not eligible for this coronavirus supplement. This includes those receiving the age pension, carers allowance and the family tax benefits, as well as disability support pensioners, veterans, income support recipients, student payment recipients and eligible concession cardholders. For those eligible, this payment is in addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March. It will automatically be paid from 13 July to about five million Australians. Half of those who will benefit are on the age pension.

The first $750 payment will be paid from 31 March to people who have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March and 13 April. We've also announced a further reduction in the deeming rate of 25 basis points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA. As of 1 May, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent. This will benefit about 900,000 income support recipients, including age pensioners.

I want to assure all Australians that the Morrison government is absolutely committed to supporting everyone through the very difficult months ahead so that we can bounce back as a nation a lot stronger than ever before.

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