Annex: Selected Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic(a)

Date Agency Measure Timeframe Target
3 Mar RBA Cash rate: −25bps to 0.50% From 4 Mar 20 Macroeconomy
12 Mar Govt. One-off $750 to persons receiving social assistance (second payment offered on 22 Mar for those eligible), see below 31 Mar 20 (1st round)
13 Jul 20 (2nd round)
Govt. Cash flow assistance to SMEs (<=$25k; expanded to <=$100k and not-for-profits on 22 Mar) From 28 Apr 20 Businesses
Govt. Subsidy for trainee and apprentice wages 1 Jan 20 to 30 Sep 20 Households
Govt. Increased scope and size of instant asset write-offs; earlier deduction of depreciation Until 30 Jun 20 (assets)
Until 30 Jun 21 (depreciation)
15 Mar ASIC Limits on number of equity market trades (publicly announced 16 Mar) Immediate Market resilience
16 Mar RBA RBA open market operations (added 1-month and 3-month repos daily and 6-month (or longer) at least weekly) Immediate Market illiquidity
CFR Statement:‘Australia's financial system is resilient’. Noted actions by the RBA; APRA (regulatory relief/waivers); and ASIC   Policy coordination
19 Mar RBA Cash rate: −25bps to 0.25% From 20 Mar 20 Macroeconomy
RBA Govt. bond purchase program (targeting three-year yield of ~25bps) Immediate Macroeconomy & market illiquidity
RBA Term Funding Facility established (can borrow up to 3% of total credit outstanding for three years at 25bps, allocation to rise if increase lending to business, especially SMEs) From 30 Mar 20 to
~31 Mar 21
Cost & availability of finance
RBA ES balances remunerated at 10bps From 20 Mar 20 Cost of finance
APRA Temporary change to expectations for capital ratios Immediate Availability of finance
20 Mar RBA Temporary US$60b swap line with the US Federal Reserve Immediate Market illiquidity
Banks Defer SME & household repayments for those affected, by up to six months From ~23 Mar 20 Businesses & households
Govt. Assure responsible lending laws won't constrain new lending Immediate for new credit Businesses
22 Mar Govt. Fortnightly payments to recipients of income support ($550) From 27 Apr 20 for six months Households
Govt. Early release of superannuation up to $20k; reduction in superannuation drawdown rates FY 2020 and 2021 (super)
immediate (drawdown)
Govt. SME Guarantee Scheme of 50% (up to $20b) to support $40b in new SME loans From ~01 Apr 20 to 30 Sep 20 Availability of finance
Govt. $15b investment by AOFM in structured finance From 27 Mar 20 Market support
Govt. Increasing bankruptcy and insolvency thresholds and response time for creditor action; ATO withholding enforcement actions; temporary relief from insolvent trading provisions From 25 Mar 20 for six months Businesses & households
23 Mar APRA COVID-19 repayment moratoriums not regarded as 'arrears' or 'restructured' Immediate Availability of finance
CFR Statement: ‘Crucial that financial system remains stable and resilient and that markets are open and orderly; working hard to achieve this and will continue to do so’   Policy coordination
29 Mar–7 Apr Govt. National Cabinet announces moratorium on evictions for residential tenancies, and common SME leasing principles forming a ‘Mandatory Code of Conduct’ during COVID-19. Applies to SMEs with annual turnover up to $50m which are eligible for the Commonwealth JobKeeper program. SME leasing principles to be defined by each State and Territory Government and apply from 3 Apr 20 for the period that the JobKeeper program remains operational. Businesses & households
30 Mar Govt. JobKeeper wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to six months. From 31 Mar 20 (payments received from early May) Businesses & households

(a) Fiscal responses outline initiatives announced by the Australian Government only

Sources: APRA; ASIC; media reports; RBA