Canberra: The Australian government on Thursday announced a new disaster payment scheme for workers affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said in a press conference that people aged 17 and over who lose work as a result of lockdown will receive the “temporary Covid disaster payment” made on a week-by-week basis, reports Xinhua news agency.
In order to be eligible, people must prove that they have lost income because of a lockdown, have used all of their pandemic sick leave and that they have less than A$10,000 ($7,742) in “liquid assets”.
Eligible recipients who work more than 20 hours per week will receive A$500 or A$325 if they work less.
“We are talking about somebody getting through the next week,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
“Someone who would normally be in an economic situation where every dollar counts. What matters is that businesses get the support they need and households get the support they need.”
It comes after the Victoria state government called for federal financial aid after extending the restrictions for the Melbourne area by a further seven days.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, has been the hardest-hit state by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.