For a while now, the Coronavirus outbreak has had a far-reaching financial impact all around the globe. The entire industry around the world is temporarily closed including restaurants, parlors, and banks. In fact, every economic sector is greatly affected due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 has killed thousands of people and infected over a million. Moreover, it has wreaked havoc in the global industry. Under this extraordinary pressure, many governments have proposed and put forward many benefits and schemes to salvage their collapsing economy.
Therefore, we’ve hand-picked some of the most talked-about benefit programs formulated by the leading governments in the world. Read on to see how your country measures up against the rest of the world.
UK: Self-employment Income Support Scheme
This UK government benefit scheme supports self-employed individuals whose income is affected due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The scheme will allow eligible citizens to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their monthly trading profits. However, the maximum amount that can be claimed is £2,500 per month.
The government of the UK has decided an initial 3-month period for this scheme. However, it may extend if the circumstance fails to improve. To receive the benefit of this scheme an individual must meet the following criteria.
- An individual who is a self-employed individual or member of a partnership and has lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Filed a tax return for 2018-19 as a self-employed or member of a partnership.
- Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than 50% of total income coming from self-employment.
Self-employed individuals cannot apply for the scheme directly by themselves. The Government (HMRC) will get in contact if they consider someone eligible for the scheme. Then the eligible applicant can go online to apply through gov.uk.
New Zealand: Increment in Benefits
The Government of New Zealand has put forward plans of increasing almost all the benefits for the year 2020. It is an important measure to support the people in the country.
As a result, all main benefits will increase by $25 per week. Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Youth Payment, Young Parent Payment, Supported Living Parent can benefit from this scheme. The $25 increment in the main benefits will cost the government a huge $2.4 billion over the next four years.
However, this increase in benefit payment may affect other payments such as Temporary Additional Support, Accommodation Supplement, and Childcare Assistance.
The Government has also announced that a new COVID-19 payment will be available to employers who have been adversely affected by the outbreak. The payment will be supporting employers to keep their staff on.
A payment of $585.80 NZD will be offered for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate) and $350.00 NZD for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate). This is covered for 12 weeks per employee.
Employers must try to pay the employees named in their application at least 80% of their usual pay. But if this is not achievable, at least the subsidy rate must be paid.
Moreover, the Winter Energy Payment rates have doubled for 2020. And the distribution will take place from 1st May to 1st October.
Australia: JobKeeper Payment Scheme
This Australian government scheme provides wage subsidies to businesses in Australia that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, about 6 million workers will benefit from a payment of $1500 AUD sent to employers every two weeks.
The payment guarantees that the employers are in connection with their workforce. This will further assist in resuming work as soon as the pandemic ceases.
Eligible employers greatly affected by the pandemic will get access to this wage subsidy program. Registration must be made with the ATO. This program will also be beneficial for employees, ensuring that they safeguard their jobs for the future.
The JobKeeper Payment Scheme will cost the Australian Government around $130 billion AUD. The payment will bring the government’s economic support for the economy to $320 billion AUD. In fact, this will be a whopping 16.4% of the GDP.
USA: $560 Billion to Individual Aid
President Trump signed a $2 trillion emergency bill to deliver a wave of cash to Americans to reel themselves from the crisis. The $2 trillion plan breaks down into several categories including aids to individuals, businesses, corporations and state and local governments. This also encompasses public health, safety net, education, and others.
The bill includes an estimated $560 billion to the aid of individuals engaged in the economy in the United States. That means direct cash for many, expanded unemployment benefits, and new rules for filing taxes.
The cash payment is alone to be worth $300 billion. As per the plan, individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200 USD. The cash payment will be based on the receiver’s 2018 or 2019 tax filings.