Australia announced € 35.5 billion aid package for fragile businesses and citizens in the face of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as residents were asked to stay indoors from the country. The Australian government has also issued a note to homeowners and landowners, authorizing the temporary suspension of rent payments for the next six months.
It is an initiative that will go a long way in reducing the pressure on citizens and supporting businesses during these difficult times.
Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg said the plan was in addition to measures already taken by the government and the central bank to support the economy.
In total, the amount of aid announced in an attempt to avoid cushioning the impact of the economic slowdown amounts to 189 billion Australian dollars (102 billion euros), or almost 10% of GDP.
“These extraordinary circumstances demand extraordinary measures and we are facing an unprecedented global challenge,” he told reporters.
“The measures announced today will bring hope and help millions of Australians when they need it most,” he said.
Small businesses and non-profit organizations will receive direct aid of up to almost 54,000 euros. The amount of unemployment benefits will be temporarily doubled. And disadvantaged retirees and welfare recipients will receive a check for 750 Australian dollars (around 400 euros).
Frydenberg warned that the impact on the economy would be “deeper, wider and more sustainable” than expected just a few days ago and that further action will be needed.
The country appears to be on the verge of entering recession due to the consequences of this pandemic, after 29 years of record economic growth.
Australia has detected more than 5,700 cases of Covid-19 which has left 37 people dead.