The Australian government announced an economic stimulus package of AUD 17.6 billion (USD 11,403 million or EUR 10,115 million) on Thursday to cope with the impact of COVID-19 and prevent the Australian economy from going into recession.
Of the total package, which is mainly focused on ensuring the activity of Australian companies, some AUD 11,000 million (USD 7,126 million or EUR 6,320 million) will be available before June 30, when the fiscal year ends in the country.
"This plan seeks to keep Australians in their jobs, businesses in their businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, and this plan expects the economy to rebound and with it, the budget to recover," said the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announcing the move from Canberra.
The main component of the package includes the possibility for companies to apply for grants of up to AUD 25,000 (USD 16,184 or EUR 14,363) to continue paying wages to their employees or making investments.
The government will also give tax deductions to more than 3.5 million companies for the purchase of assets worth up to AUD 150,000 (USD 97,078 or EUR 86,102).
It will also create a coronavirus fund of AUD 1 billion (USD 647 million or EUR 574 million) to help affected regional areas, as well as a one-time payment to recipients of social aid so that they can cope with COVID-19, which was declared a global pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This package of measures is in addition to another AUD 2,400 million (USD 1,556 million or EUR 1,427 million) for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID, which in Australia has killed 3 people and infected more than 112, most of them them in the city of Sydney.