29 January 2009

Second stimulus package for Australians on the cards

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Pressure from Australian businesses on the government to boost the Australian economy has resulted in speculation about a second national stimulus package, reports ABC News.

As the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd starts his national tour to consult state leaders about the Australian economy, speculation has been mounting that the Commonwealth would announce a second stimulus package as early as next week.

Australian businesses have been pressuring the government to invest in building and infrastructure, while the Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean said his government would also consider tax cuts in next year's budget.  The Federal Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin also hinted that the government is considering another cash bonus for the Australian public – and this time it's for the unemployed.

"We want to do everything possible to protect Australian jobs, to make sure that those in jobs can keep their jobs because we know how critical that is for the Australian people," she said.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Peter Anderson has told ABC Radio's AM program that the government wants to prove to the Australian public they are doing everything to keep the country from sliding into a recession.

"During the course of February would send the right message to the private sector and the Australian community at large, that the Government is getting on with the action of trying to ensure that the Australian economy comes through this in strong shape," he said.

Yesterday, the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh met with the PM and indicated that investing in infrastructure projects and job creation is a high priority for her state's economy and an obligation for her government.

After much debate, the government has made no further comments regarding changing the levels of Australian immigration, despite fears that the record numbers of people who move to Australia are displacing the job opportunities of unemployed Australians.  As it stands, the Australian skilled migration quota is remaining at an all-time high until the government releases the 2009-10 Budget.


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