New group to get cash in stimulus package


More than 230,000 full-time students will get their welfare payments boosted by $550 a fortnight after being included in the coronavirus stimulus measures.

The Morrison Government made the last-minute decision to include students on youth allowance, Austudy and Abstudy in the package that passed parliament last night.

Parliament passed two packages worth $17.6 billion and $66 billion in response to the outbreak of the virus.

In separate legislation, the government set aside a further $40 billion for urgent and unforeseen spending associated with the pandemic, likely to cause a recession.

Jobseeker, youth allowance, parenting and special benefit payments will be boosted by $550 a fortnight.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann confirmed the coronavirus supplement would be extended to full-time students.

The government will no longer need legislation to make changes to welfare settings after passing an amendment to the package, giving the social services minister unprecedented powers.


There'll also be two $750 payments for welfare recipients.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed a scaled-down House of Representatives yesterday, invoking the spirit of the Diggers.

"So we summon the spirit of the Anzacs, of our Great Depression generation, of those who built the Snowy, of those who won the great peace of World War II and defended Australia," Mr Morrison said.

"For many, young and old, 2020 will be the toughest year of our lives."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said most Australians only knew stories of war, hunger and financial strife from their grandparents.

"This is a time for national leadership, consistent messages, clear directions," he said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hinted at the potential need for a third stimulus package down the track, as Australia faced its biggest challenge outside of war time.

"We confront an enemy without a flag or a face and we are deploying every weapon in our arsenal to defeat it," he told parliament.

"We will bounce back as a nation stronger than ever."

Originally published as New group to get cash in stimulus package

Students were a last-minute addition to the stimulus package legislation. Picture: iStock
Students were a last-minute addition to the stimulus package legislation. Picture: iStock