Thursday 8 July 2021
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the removal of the $10,000 liquid asset test on Covid disaster payments is a welcome relief for people who’ve been forced out of work due to the ongoing lockdown in Greater Sydney.
“Casual workers in particular are the forgotten faces of Covid lockdowns, with many forced out of work and left struggling to pay their bills and rent with no proper safety net in place,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.
“The existing Covid disaster payments prevent people with liquid assets of $10,000 from accessing payments of either $325 or $500. Pleasingly, that asset test will be removed for people out of work and about to enter their third week of a Covid lockdown in Greater Sydney.
“This returns Federal support measures to the same rate as the final phase of JobKeeper – something the ARA has been calling for to support people most at risk of losing work due to state-imposed lockdowns.
“Lockdowns not only have a financial cost – they have a social one as well. They take an enormous toll on people’s health and wellbeing and we need to ensure adequate support measures are in place to support people and businesses.
“Sadly, the current lockdown in Greater Sydney will tip some businesses over the edge and we can expect more ‘for lease’ signs going up in our communities.”