14 October 2008

Rudd: pre-Christmas tax rebate to avoid Australian recession

The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has plans to boost consumer confidence and the economy at the end of the year by providing a multi-billion dollar handout to Australian taxpayers. The package will include direct spending on Australian infrastructure, a tax rebate, and increased payments to welfare beneficiaries and pensioners, reports News.com.au.

The details of the package has not yet been officially decided, however the Government has said they will be using the budget surplus to ease the global turmoil caused by the financial slowdown in time for Christmas spending. 

"I believe that the purpose of having a surplus is to make sure you've got a buffer for the tough times.  And the tough times have come," Mr Rudd told reporters yesterday.

The Reserve Bank also eased the interest rate so that Australian residents have more disposable income; the cut means approximately an extra $10 billion a year will be now available for spending in Australia. 

Although the Government is taking measures to decrease the impact of the global credit crunch, this week the Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan reassured the Australian community the Australian economy "is better placed than almost any other developed economy to withstand the fallout" despite the current downturn in the Australian share market and fall in consumer confidence.

A report released by the OECD over the weekend in Europe said the Australian economy was surviving well in the crisis because of its leadership and management at senior levels.

"The economy has stood up well to the ongoing global financial market turbulence.  So far, the financial sector has withstood the crisis thanks to prudent management, high profitability and strong capitalisation," said the authors of the OECD 2008 Economic Survey of Australia.

Mr Rudd is also considering cuts to the migration quota next year in response to growing concerns of Australian unemployment; however, he told reporters the economic climate next year would be the deciding factor in how many people are allocated a visa for Australia during 2009-10.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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