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Jobseeker Changes – Reduction Incoming…

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for Australians. For many, their business’ have been barely able to survive, others have lost employment entirely. As a result, the Australian government instituted specialized support payments – Jobseeker and Jobkeeper. In effect since late March, these support payments will now begin to taper off. With a plan to cease them entirely after Christmas. From 25 September, the criteria for these payments have been tightened and amounts reduced. Phasing out of the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker changes signal a potential economic collapse. In addition, significant financial distress for millions of Australians already struggling. 

JobKeeper and Jobseeker Changes 

Beginning September 25, the JobSeeker maximum fortnightly rate for a single household will drop from $1110 to $810, while JobKeeper is set to be reduced to a maximum of $600 a week from September 28. 

What Are The New Conditions?

To continue to receive support, you must ensure you meet the updated criteria and submit all required information in the period requested.

jobseeker reduce

JobKeeper Changes

  • Show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period.
  • Have satisfied the original decline in turnover test
  • Pay your eligible employees at least the JobKeeper amount that applies to them each JobKeeper fortnight. 
  • Keep up to date with reporting employee numbers and who is receiving what payments based on the tiered payment system. 

The Australian Treasury offers key updates and requirement details for Jobkeeper payments. 

JobSeeker Changes

  • Taper rates shifted, from September 25th an updated income test will apply. Stipulating a loss of 60 cents for every dollar of income earned above $300 per fortnight. This will apply for recipients of both JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.
  • A minimum of 8 jobs per fortnight will need to be applied for, compared with the previous 4 per fortnight. 
  • Assets tests for JobSeeker will be reintroduced and will apply to new and current recipients of the payment. These had been paused.
  • Your partner’s income will be taken into account. You will lose 27 cents for every dollar they earn above $1165 per fortnight.  
changes to jobseeker

Short Term Solution

Australia’s unemployment at its highest rate this century. Asia-Pacific economist Callam Pickering noted that the official unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, having improved considerably from 11.6 percent in May. However as Ernst & Youngs’ chief economist, Jo Masters has pointed out, that number would be higher still if not for JobKeeper. As within these statistics, there were still 165,000 people counted as employed but working zero hours. In fact, the incentive to work was reduced significantly with the doubling of the jobseeker payment. Some employers reporting challenges in sourcing workers.

With over 70 billion already meted out in support payments in the past six months, its a model that cannot be sustained longer term. Meaning our unemployment levels are set to rise, high level unemployment goes hand in hand with economic collapse. 

The second phase of subsidy payments will continue until December 2020, at which time more reductions are anticipated. 

What This Means For Australia’s Economy

For the past six months, Australian businesses and individuals have been receiving support payments. Keeping them either employed in businesses that would have otherwise already folded, or paying living expenses while they searched for work. 

The expectation is now that a significant number of businesses will now inevitably close, pushing unemployment even higher. This also places millions of Australians in financial difficulty. Pair this with the end of ‘mortgage’ holidays and moratoriums on repayments of loans and credit cards and it signals disaster. 

While a cut in government spending seems like a smart decision in the long-term, it is estimated it will cost our economy close to 31 billion. Cutting the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper will further reduce our GDP and employment. 

With less household spending possible, consumption of goods decreases, further impacting our economic recovery. Analysis by Deloitte Access Economics has determined this reduction in spending will lead to the loss of a further 145,000 full-time jobs over the next two years.

jobseeker change

Found Yourself In Financial Difficulty?

Are the jobseeker changes or shifts in jobkeeper eligibility going to cause you financial hardship? You should speak to the experts at The Australian Lending Centre. We can support you to refinance, take out short term loans, enter debt management agreements, and more. 

Don’t lose sleep wondering about the next steps and fearing your finances. Our expert staff can help you assess your situation and come up with solutions. Our goal is to help you manage this challenging period and find a path forward. Managing your debts may be the key to surviving the extended challenges we face economically due to COVID-19. 

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Debt Help – Unemployed Survival Guide

With the advent of a global pandemic sending Australia into lockdown mode, many businesses have suffered immensely. Social isolating is now the norm and businesses that were once thriving have been forced to close. This is a situation that no-one could have predicted and has left a lot of people searching for debt help.

Here is your unemployed survival guide.

I Lost My Job, Now What?

If you have found yourself without a job during this COVID-19 pandemic, you are certainly not alone.

With restrictions placed on restaurants, pubs, gyms, cafes and many other businesses taking a huge hit, they have been forced to lay off their employees. Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.2% in March. With Employment Minister Michaelia Cash stating that Treasury modelling shows it will spike in June at around 10%.

On top of this, figures from ANZ showed total job ads plunged 53.1 per cent in April, compared to a 10 per cent drop in March.

While the most logical solution is to go on the hunt for a new job, with fewer jobs available and more people looking for work than ever, this just isn’t an option for many. This has left many families looking for debt help. If you find yourself in this position, here are some steps you can take.

Look For Your Entitlements

The Australian Government has stepped up to help those who have lost their jobs during this time, so it is worthwhile looking at what you might be entitled to. Here are some you can look into:

The Jobseeker payment is available to those who were stood down or let go, including sole traders, self-employed, casual workers and contract workers. You have to meet the following requirements:

  • Between 22 years old and Age Pension age.
  • Income is under the test limits.
  • You meet residence rules.
  • You meet their Government’s definition of unemployed and are looking for work.
  • You’re sick or injured and are unable to do your usual work or study for a short time.

If you meet these requirements, you are entitled to anything from $565.70 to $790.10 a fortnight. Your partner’s income could also affect what you are entitled to.

Coronavirus Supplement payment: if you are eligible for the Jobseeker payment or other Human Services payments (such as Parenting Payment and others), then you will be eligible for this one too. It is a new support payment of $550 per fortnight, once again, dependant on how much you or your partner earn.

Economic Support payments: this is a one-off $750 payment for those who already receive a range of government benefits.

The idea of all these benefits is to give people debt help while we social distance and stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Of course, for some people, these payments aren’t enough.

Get Debt Help

If these payments aren’t enough to help you with the cost of living and you are finding yourself in debt during this crisis, then it is time to get debt help.

Speak with lenders

The first thing to do is to speak with your lender and ask if they can offer any help. Many businesses are stepping up to support fellow Australians during this time and offering interest-free periods to stop your debt from increasing while you struggle to pay it off. You may even be able to pause or defer certain repayments. Many banks are offering relief from credit card repayments.

Look at your service providers

It is also worth calling around your service providers and seeing if they can offer any assistance. Look at cheaper options or whether accounts can be paused or suspended for the time being.

Sort your debts

If you are juggling a number of different debts, try and prioritise them and work out which one needs to be paid off first. It generally makes sense to pay off the one with the highest interest rate first and work that way. Debt Consolidation could be a good option for you. This is where all of your debts are combined into one, easy to manage payment with a lower, fixed interest rate.

Payday loans:

It may also be worth considering a payday loan to help make ends meet while all this is going on. They are short-term loans with no restrictions on what they can be used for. They do come with high fees attached to them, so it is worth weighing up whether they are right for you.

Get Debt Help Fast

If you are up to your knees in debt and don’t know how to move forward, it is time to speak to a professional and get some debt help. The experts at Australian Lending Centre will talk you through your options and give you the help you need to get back on your feet and see you through this global crisis.

Remember, these are unprecedented times that no-one could predict. If you need debt help, just know you aren’t alone.