MP: More stimulus needed to help small businesses, workers
BLAIR MP Shayne Neumann said his office phone has been ringing off the hook with residents worried about whether they will be able to access financial help during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queensland Government unveiled its $4 billion package to support health, jobs and businesses during the unprecedented crisis yesterday.
About $189 billion is being injected to stimulate the economy by the Federal Government, including the Reserve Bank's $90 billion boost via low-interest business loans.
Mr Neumann believed the Federal Government's measures were "too little, too late" and said more needed to be done to protect the future of local business and jobs.
His Brassall electorate office is closed to the public to protect the health of staff but they were still open for business via phone and email.
"We're here to help," he said.
"This is a very deeply serious and complex situation.
"I'm very concerned about how local community life is going to go in the next six months … about our businesses and community and sporting groups."
Mr Neumann said he was concerned financial relief for businesses would not come immediately and it would not be effective at allowing them to retain their workers.
The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profits with employees
Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld, with that first payment available from April 28.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said by linking the payments to business to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be incentivised to "hold on to more of their workers."
"We're talking about provisions that don't operate until the withholding tax has been paid and that's in late April and then in July," Mr Neumann said.
"There's no linkage to keeping the workers on."
Mr Neumann said the temporary $550 payment to be paid fortnightly over the next six months was not adequate.
It will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
Eligible residents will receive $550 on top of their payment each fortnight.
The Government will also provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, in addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on March 12.
"That's not going to be enough I think," he said.
"The second payment only comes in in July. There's a lot of people that aren't going to get this support.
"There's just not enough provisions going directly to the wages and the more vulnerable members of our communities, and to help small business.
"I think there's more to be done. I think there's at least another one more stimulus round they've got to provide."
Mr Neumann urged the community to show each other kindness and to respect those working on the frontline.
"Stop hoarding and panic buying," he said.
"I know people are anxious and worried. We need to care for one another.
"Treat (workers) with respect."