The NSW government has injected a further $750 million in additional support into the state’s stalling economy, aimed at providing payroll and rent support for small businesses effected by the escalating coronavirus crisis.
Deputy premier John Barilaro said the package would “support employment, provide relief for business and protect those most in need”.
“These are unprecedented times and, if we are to emerge in the best shape possible, we need to ensure businesses keep their heads above water and keep employees on the books.”
The announcement follows its $2.3 billion stimulus package announced last week, which included a $700 million boost to healthcare and $1.6 billion for tax cuts and job creation.
As part of the package, payroll tax will be deferred for six months for businesses with payrolls over $10 million while rent will be deferred for six months for commercial tenants in all government-owned properties with fewer than 20 employees.
Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less, which received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package, will also be provided with an additional three month deferral as well.
Police have also been given the power to hand out fines of $1,000 to individuals and $5,000 to businesses that breach public health orders or ministerial directions.
“Our expectation is that any relief provided by the NSW government will be used to contribute to help businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs,” Perrottet said.
“It’s vital we keep people employed and ensure we have the ability to rebound when things improve.”
NSW policymakers also flagged that more extensive business shut downs would likely be imposed in coming days.
However, the package did not make mention of any provisions to help commercial and business tenants affected by the pandemic.
Commercial tenants could also be provided with stimulus measures to help them go into what the prime minister called a temporary “hibernation” for a period of up to six months.
Prime minister Scott Morrison on Friday said more commercial and residential landlords would inevitably “suffer” from cash-strapped businesses and laid off workers being unable to pay their rent.
“Whether councils are involved in providing waivers on rates, things of that nature that, will be something states work through,” Morrison said.
“Whether land tax will be relieved for those who have tenants in a distressed situations—all of these are what we are working through. It isn't simple.
“We are all in it, whether you are the landlord, an employee, whether you are the bank, you are all in it.”
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said the federal government's proposed “business hibernation” package recognises the critical importance of helping as many Australian businesses facing uncertainty caused by the virus.
“Businesses across tourism, retail, business services and logistics will be facing enormous challenges during this time and we need all of them to come through the other side of this crisis.”
“It was pleasing to hear the Prime Minister acknowledged that land tax relief was one lever being considered to support businesses across the economy.”