Government boosts disaster payments for locked-down Sydneysiders

The Federal Government has confirmed workers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in NSW will receive extra cash in their pockets from next week.

Speaking from Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country’s disaster payments have been given another boost in a bid to help those struggling through the pandemic.

It comes following confirmation today that the Greater Sydney lockdown will be extended for another month, until at least August 28.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


As a result, those who have lost more than 20 hours of work due to the lockdown will now have their payments increased from $600 to $750, which is the same level of support as JobKeeper when it was initially introduced.

While the payment for workers who have lost less than 20 hours will go up from $375 to $450.

“In addition to that, we will be extending support to those who are on welfare payments and they will be able to receive a payment if they have lost more than eight hours of $200,” The Prime Minister said.

“Now remember, they are already getting payments through the social welfare system, so in the case of somebody who is on a full JobSeeker rate, they are getting just over about $315 a week… So that $200 comes on top of that”.

To date, 812,372 disaster payments have been handed out to 463,558 people affected by lockdowns in NSW.

“The total amount out of the door and in the bank accounts of those who need it in New South Wales is already $411.7 million,” Mr Morrison said.

When asked why the Federal Government did not just bring back JobKeeper support, the Prime Minister said “because it is not the right solution for the problems we have now”.

“What we are doing now is faster, it is more effective, it is more targeted, it is getting help where it is needed, far more quickly,” he said.

“We are not dealing with a pandemic outbreak across the whole country. When we did JobKeeper, we had to employ it across the whole country. All at once. And we did it for six months. 

“What we need now is to be focused effort of where the need is right now, and so it can be turned on and off to the extent that we have outbreaks that occur. JobKeeper didn’t have that flexibility.”