A multi-billion-dollar financial rescue package is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday to help Sydney workers and businesses survive the extended lockdown.
Increased payments to more people who’ve lost work are expected plus tax credits to employers, giving them money to keep paying staff.
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The Daily Telegraph reports the package will be based on the previous scheme that focussed on small and medium businesses and will offer cash payments to cover costs, including wages.
Disaster relief payments would also be boosted. If you have lost 20 hours of work or more payments would increase from $500 to $600, and if under it would increase from $325 to $375.
Workers intending apply must lodge a new claim each week of lockdown on the Services Australia website here.
It comes on the back of days of negotiations between the federal and state governments.
7NEWS earlier revealed Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet spent much of Sunday engaging in meetings.
They appear to have reached an agreement after NSW considered introducing a state-funded JobSeeker-style scheme.
Berejiklian, Perrottet and Morrison are expected to announce the package on Tuesday.
It comes as business owners are brought to their knees by the lockdown measures.
Aziz Bheyyui from the Red Rose Function Centre in Rockdale said he was “scared to pick up the phone” as he struggles to pay staff and refund clients.
“We’re trying our best, we just praying to God,” he said.
Berejiklian on Monday said assistance was “imminent”.
State Opposition Leader Chris Minns has meanwhile called for JobKeeper to return, telling 7NEWS: “You cannot have lockdown in place without JobKeeper in place.”
Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey agreed, saying the Federal Government had been “utterly complacent”.
“It’s time to resuscitate the program unions fought so hard to establish, and that is JobKeeper,” he said.
“This program maintains the link between employer and employee and allows businesses and their workforce to re-emerge on the other side of a lockdown.”
The Sydney lockdown is due to end on Friday, but Berejiklian said that timeline is increasingly “impossible” with rising daily COVID cases.