Federal Government’s $17.6 billion stimulus package will assist Australians and support pharmacists during COVID-19
Thursday, 12 March 2020
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s $17.6 billion stimulus package which will support vulnerable Australians and the health professionals who support them during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The announcement includes grants of up to $25,000 with a minimum payment of $2000 for small and medium businesses that employ staff with an annual turnover of up to $50 million and will be provided through the tax system, tax free.
PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said this announcement on the back of yesterday’s health package would assist in supporting community pharmacies and the pharmacists they employ during COVID-19.
“A significant number of pharmacies around Australia will be eligible for the grant at the maximum level which will allow them to continue to support their workforce and continue to provide an invaluable service to the community,” he said.
“As frontline health professionals, pharmacists will continue to play a key role during COVID-19 and the influenza season and these measures announced today will provide important stimulus to many pharmacies to continue to provide much needed healthcare to their patients.
As part of the announcement, the Government has also increased the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50million) until 30 June 2020.
Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of the asset cost in the year of purchase (through to 30 June 2021).
PSA also welcomes the pragmatic measure of abolishing waiting-periods for social security sickness payments for casual workers, who may miss shifts because they contract coronavirus or are asked to self-isolate,
“This measure will not only financially support those who are sick or in isolation, but also reduce the likelihood of people who are unwell attending work,” A/Prof Freeman said. “This is particularly important in the health sector, where many frontline health professionals and support staff are employed on a casual basis”.
PSA will continue to work with the Government and provide details to the profession of these initiatives.
“Support for the profession, including the announcement yesterday of funding for home medicine services and electronic prescriptions together with today’s business and social security measures are essential to ensure pharmacists can continue their crucial role protecting Australians.”
Media contact: PSA Media: 0487 922 176