15 December 2008

Australia released plans for $4.7 billion stimulus plan

The Australian Prime Minister has released plans for a $4.7 billion stimulus plan to boost the country's economy amidst the global economic crisis, reports Bloomberg.

The government released the plans after concerns that China's slowing economy would reduce demand for Australia's biggest revenue earner, natural resources.

The money would directly fund infrastructure projects around the county, including rail, roads and education, and is hoped to increase economic growth by one quarter to half a per cent.

Earlier this year the government also implanted a stimulus package of $26 billion, which went to families, home buyers, pensioners, schools and hospitals.  Also today, the Rudd government announced a $440 million tax-break for small businesses, which employs around 1.7 million people.

The stimulus plan will be spent over the next four years, and is predicted to create 32,000 jobs. 

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans has put fears at rest that the global financial crisis would cause a drastic reduction in Australia's skilled migration quota, reports The Australian. 

According to business groups, a reduction in the Australian migration quota would tarnish the country's global image as a top choice destination for migrants. 

Senator Evans has reassured the lobbying business groups that his government would not overreact to the global recession.

"[Immigration] is a global market, so your reputation and your brand is quite important," Senator Evans told reporters.

"So certainly a lot of the advice is: don't ruin the brand by knee-jerk reactions, because we're going to be wanting to recruit in these areas, if not this year, then the year after."

This financial year, Australian immigration levels reached record levels, with 31,000 extra taking the quota 190,300 visas for Australia, which comprised 133,500 skilled visa migrants. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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