The NSW government has committed an additional $500 million in support payments for businesses when federal financial support tapers off in late October.
The state government said it would continue these payments until November 30.
It said when federal payments tapered off when the state reaches a rate of 80% double vaccination it will continue to fund its 50% of JobSaver payments.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said on Thursday it was a “very easy” decision made with an awareness that businesses would not immediately bounce back to pre-lockdown operations as the state slowly reopened from October 11.
“We know that when we do open up at 70% and 80% there will be still some restrictions in place, that businesses will not be operating at full capacity, so by maintaining the New South Wales government’s contribution to this program it will allow many businesses the support they need as we move from response to recovery,” Perrottet said.
The state treasurer also said that while there is no doubt support measures would need to be tapered down by the end of the year, a stopgap measure would ensure businesses in the state were able to manage the transition.
“Providing this financial support will give businesses sustained support as they start to reopen,” Perrottet said.
He said the state’s measure of success centred around “how many businesses have we kept open” since the start of the pandemic and moving out of the current extended lockdowns.
“Whilst it’s going to be a difficult time as we go through that reopening, I’m incredibly confident that the New South Wales economy will bounce back.”
It comes as the federal government announced on Wednesday it would end pandemic disaster payments once states reach the 80% vaccination mark.
After giving $9 billion in disaster payments to 2.16 million people since June, Treasurer John Frydenberg said the government would begin to wind up the payments once vaccination rates reach 70% of the adult population.
When NSW’s vaccination rate reaches 70% of the eligible population, JobSaver payments will taper from 40% to 30% of weekly payroll.
From October 10 to October 23, the minimum and maximum weekly payments for employing businesses will be reduced by 25% to $1,125 and $75,000 weekly, with grants reduced to 30% of weekly payroll, or $750 for sole traders.
Once the state reaches the 80% double vaccination rate the joint federal and state government JobSaver payments will end.
NSW is expected to reach the 70% fully vaccinated target next week and the 80% mark by late October. Victoria is on track to hit the 80% mark in early November.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the extension of JobSaver would work alongside the government’s roadmap for easing restrictions and give businesses certainty.
“The continuation of JobSaver over the next two months will give businesses across NSW the financial boost they need to get them through the challenge of re-opening their doors,” Berejiklian said.