Temporary COVID disaster payments announced for people caught in lockdowns

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a national plan to give Commonwealth money to people who are caught in coronavirus hotspots.

It’s called a “temporary COVID disaster payment” and will only kick in if a lockdown lasts longer than a week and coincides with a federally designated hotspot.

Scott Morrison.Credit:Brook Mitchell

The PM says it could be as small as a postcode or as large as a state.

The new payment will be $500 a week for people who normally work more than 20 hours a week and $325 a week for people who normally do less than 20 hours.

It will only kick in where people can’t work and have less than $10,000 in liquid assets. It cannot be combined with other welfare or coronavirus support payments from the federal government.

“Where those have independent means of supporting themselves for a week then I think they would agree that reaching out for Commonwealth taxpayer-funded assistance is not something they would consider reasonable for such a short period of time,” Mr Morrison said.

More to come.

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