Northern Territory Government Stimulus Package
The NT Government announced a $65 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package to help stimulate the economy and keep Territorian in jobs. The measures include changes for payroll tax, support for workers, incentives for home renovations and grants for businesses, along with support for landlords and tenants.
Reducing payroll tax
Territory businesses can apply from 1 May 2020 if they can demonstrate substantial hardship* due to the COVID-19 crisis for:
- payroll tax abolished for six months - if you are a small or medium-sized business
- payroll tax deferred for six months - if you are a large business
- power, water and sewerage bills cut by 50% (all businesses) for six months.
Worker and Wellbeing Fund
The Worker and Wellbeing Fund supports people who have lost their job or income due to COVID-19 and are not already receiving financial and / or wellbeing support, including Centrelink benefits.
Home Improvement Scheme - $30 million
The Home Improvement Scheme will help fast track around 5,000 screwdriver-ready projects in Territory homes. This means that projects are physical improvements to land and/or buildings, and repairs and maintenance services. The scheme operates on a voucher system, with home owners receiving either:
- a voucher worth up to $4000 if they contribute at least $1000 of their own money or
- a voucher worth up to $6000 if they contribute at least $2000 of their own money.
Business Improvement Grant - $20 million
All Territory businesses will be able to access a $10,000 grant, followed by an additional $10,000 grant if they contribute $10,000 of their own. Each business is only eligible to receive one grant, and it can be used to complete one or two different jobs on their premises. The grant can be used to purchase goods and services to make permanent physical improvements to a business (land and/or building) that help improve its efficiency and customer experience.
Immediate Works Grant - $5 million
Grants of up to $100,000 will be given to not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to do repairs, renovations and upgrades to their property and facilities. The first $50,000 will be paid as a grant, and the NT Government will also match any renovation costs that exceed $50,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum of $100,000 total.
Structural adjustment package- $5 million
This program will provide direct support for cafes, restaurants and other venues who serve the public. The program will help businesses to install partitioning to meet the new requirements for gatherings of less than 100 people indoors, and to help develop online ways of doing business.
Territory businesses with less than $50 million turnover who have experienced a reduction of turnover of more than 30% can access relief on the cost of their lease can request rent relief. Landlords will be expected to negotiate relief in line with the code of conduct for commercial tenancies and if they do this, they will also be eligible to receive payroll tax and utilities bills relief.
The property activation levy will also be waived for landlords whose property becomes vacant.
If commercial landlords do not negotiate in good faith with their tenants, they will not be eligible for this relief, or any of the economic support packages recently announced by the government.