11 Jan 2011

Income support announced for flood jobless

7:00 am on 11 January 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced an income subsidy for people who have lost their livelihood due to the flooding.

Ms Gillard has been visiting some of the flood affected areas and says the recovery will be very slow.

The ABC reports the federal government has already received 8000 claims for emergency assistance from people, most of whom have been placed in evacuation centres.

Ms Gillard says the income assistance will be available to those not able to do their normal job because of the floods in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

"To take some examples of that, it could be a truck driver who is stood down because the mine in which he or she works isn't working because of floodwaters," she said.

"It could be a small business person who owns and operates a coffee shop and they are in a flood-affected area their coffee shop is flooded and not working."

She says the payment will be the same as the unemployment rate - about $A500 per fortnight - and will last for 13 weeks.

The ABC repprts the payments will start to flow from next week. Similar payments were made after Cyclone Larry and the bushfires in Victoria.