COVID-19 or “Coronavirus”, as you may have heard, has claimed many lives all over the world in a span of just a few months. As of 5 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2020, Australia has a total of 607 confirmed cases of which 23 have successfully recovered and sadly, six have died.
The dreaded virus however, is detrimental not only to human lives but also our economy. Australia’s economy had already suffered a blow before the year began due to the bushfires. But how does this all affect us exactly?
According to research, close to five million Australian workers do not have paid leave entitlements. This includes individuals and families whose weekly income is less than $800 – who will be hit the hardest. And many who are entitled to paid leave may see their company or workplace go bust before they claim their money. This is especially likely for companies in the ‘social entertainment’ industry which includes dining, bars, clubs, hotels, cinemas etc. This paired with major job cuts across the board, and our future begins to look grim.
Fortunately for some, the Australian government has recently announced a 17.6 billion dollar Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stimulus Package which aims to (as the name suggests) “stimulate” the economy and give workers a little more spending capacity. What this means is, if you are among the six million or so Australians who are entitled to Centrelink benefits, you will receive a $750 bonus in your bank account anytime starting March 31, 2020, courtesy – the Australian government.
Now if you do receive that bonus, congratulations. Here is a short and sweet do’s and don’ts list on spending that $750:
- Use the money to pay rent/utility bills/credit card bills, etc.
- Leave it sitting in your bank account. You’ll most likely spend it all.
- Spend on needs (food, shelter, travel, medicines)
- Shop impulsively or give into panic buying.
- Put some away in an emergency fund or high interest savings account
- Gamble it all away trying to make more. Going to casinos or pokies is not a great option especially because you might catch the virus there yourself!
Morrison says that with the COVID-19 stimulus package, the government plans “to boost growth, bolster domestic confidence and consumption in many Australian households, reduce cash flow pressures for businesses and support new investments to lift productivity,”