Wagga business leaders have welcomed the federal government's plan to provide companies with $1500 in fortnightly wage subsidies per worker.
NSW Business Chamber Riverina Murray regional manager Andrew Cottrill said the measure would save jobs in the region.
"It's to try and keep the workforce together, even if the business can't operate through the pandemic either through forced closures or supply chain issues," he said.
"If a business can keep its workforce together, workers will have an income through this period, possibly a decreased income.
"It may help to sustain a business to keep their structure intact so they are ready to go once the restrictions start to lift."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday afternoon that the government would spend $130 billion over six months on new 'Jobkeeper' payments.
The scheme will apply to full-time, part-time and casual workers who had been with their employer for 12 months and will include New Zealand citizens on class 444 visas.
Wagga Business Chamber president Danielle Wait said businesses' biggest need at the moment was cash flow.
"Anything that is going to provide a cash injection and help pay staff and keep the doors open would certainly be very useful," she said.
Companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue that have suffered a 30 per cent downturn in business during the coronavirus will be eligible for wage subsidies.
Companies with more than $1 billion in revenue will have to demonstrate a 50 per cent downturn to be eligible.
Mr Morrison encouraged workers who had been stood down from work or lost their jobs permanently to contact their employers and ask if they would participate in the scheme.
Companies participating in the 'job keeper' scheme will start paying the $1500 to employees from today and then receive reimbursement from the Australian Tax Office from May 1.
Labor Senator Deborah O'Neill said "at first glance" the scheme "looks like it will provide more economic stability for some businesses and workers in the the Riverina, but the devil will be in the detail of the legislation".
"Im very pleased the government has listened to the joint voices of Labor, the union movement and the business sector who have been calling for a wage subsidy package for some weeks," she said.
"Labor and the union movement has always understood what it means to have a good job to go to.
"We know that successful businesses deeply value their greatest asset - their workers."
Businesses will not be required to cover any gaps between the $1500 payments and an employee's usual income.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said all employees would get the same $1500 payment, which for many part-time workers in affected industries like retail would be 100 per cent or more of their prior income.
Any employees who were working for a business on March 1 but subsequently lost their job will be eligible for the payments if their prior employer takes them back.
Anybody receiving money from the Jobkeeper scheme will not be eligible to claim the 'Jobseeker' unemployment payments from Centrelink.
However, partner income test before receiving Centrelink payments will increase from $48,000 to $79,000 a year.
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