The economic support to date

The economic consequences of the pandemic and the public health response were understood early by the Victorian Government.

Chef working in kitchen

It’s why, as we put in place the necessary health measures, we also acted to support businesses and workers.

By delivering support at critical junctures – including the Economic Survival Package, the Business Support Package and most recently, the Business Resilience Package – we’ve been able to help businesses and workers through to the other side of the global pandemic.

The Business Support Fund has allocated $2.6 billion in support to the hardest hit sectors of the economy, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, creative industries and retail.

Additional assistance was provided through industry-specific support, made available for the tourism, hospitality and creative sectors, totalling over $647 million, including:

Licenced Venue Fund

The $251 million dedicated Licenced Venue Fund to provide support to bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels and reception centres, with grants of up to $30,000 for licenced venues.

Sole Trader Support Fund

The $100 million Sole Trader Support Fund to help sole traders in affected industry sectors survive the impacts of continued public health restrictions.

Supporting our creative sector

A $94 million support package to help the state’s hard-hit creative sector survive the impacts of the pandemic.

Supporting regional tourism accommodation

$40 million to support regional tourism accommodation providers affected by cancellations.

A $350 million fund was set up to support Victorian universities’ capital works, applied research and research partnerships to boost Victoria’s productivity and economy.

In order to help businesses survive the pandemic and keep paying staff, the Government also made unprecedented emergency changes to taxes, fees and charges:

Payroll tax refunds

Providing full payroll tax refunds and waivers for the 2019-20 financial year to small businesses with payrolls of less than $3 million – giving $1 billion back to businesses who needed it. It saved eligible businesses up to $114,000 and an average of $29,000.

Payroll tax exemptions

Exemption from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium on JobKeeper payments to staff stood down and payments above an employee’s usual salary.

Waiving land tax liabilities

A waiver of up to 50% on 2020 land tax liabilities for landlords who provide rent relief to eligible small and medium businesses, while payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021.

Land tax relief

Land tax relief for eligible small and medium businesses that own their commercial premises and landlords who were unable to find a tenant due to the pandemic.

Waiving, refunding and deferring fees and levies

Waiving and refunding 2020 and 2021 liquor licence fees, waiving 25% of the 2020 congestion levy, a full waiver for all 2021 vacant residential land tax liabilities that arise due to property vacancies in 2020 and deferring an increase to the landfill levy.

Freezing all fees and fines

Freezing all fees and fines that were due to increase in July. The 2020-21 Fire Services Property Levy was frozen at the 2019-20 revenue target.

Getting Victorians back to work

The $587.5 million Working for Victoria Fund was also created to help workers who lost their jobs find new opportunities.

Since launching in April, the initiative has supported more than 11,000 jobs for Victorians – giving these workers greater security and certainty and supporting our State’s pandemic response.

The Government also supported the construction industry and jobs, with our $2.7 billion Building Works package, fast-tracking shovel-ready projects across the state.

This investment helped support 3,700 direct jobs for construction workers, trades, professionals, maintenance workers and administration staff, with thousands more jobs supported across supply chains.

These investments have helped keep businesses afloat and Victorians in jobs.

But as we begin work to rebuild our State, we know we need to do more than just repair the damage.

Instead, we need to address some of the deep economic inequalities exposed by this pandemic.

We need to give businesses confidence and optimism for the future.

And we need to help Victorians return to work and recover – in every sense of the word.

Reviewed 21 November 2020

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