Friday, October 17, 2008

Merry Christmas Mr Rudd

The Federal Government has announced a $10 billion financial stimulus to help prevent the Australian economy from sliding into recession in the next six to 12 months. The package is aimed mainly at low and middle income earners, and includes five main planks:

  1. $4.8 billion in new support for pensioners and carers, to be paid in the form of lump sums later this year.
  2. $3.9 billion for low and middle income earners. Eligible families will receive a payment of $1000 per child.
  3. $1.5 billion for first home buyers, with the first home buyer bonus to be doubled from $7000 to $14,000 on established homes and tripled to $21,000 for new homes.
  4. $187 million to double the number of training places available to 113,000.
  5. Fast-tracking of the Government’s $20 billion infrastructure program.

The package is designed to stimulate economic growth by boosting consumer spending, so retailers stand to benefit most of all, as pensioners, carers and families will all have around $1000 more in their wallets. Most payments will be made around 8 December so this should mean the Christmas trading period will be a lot better than previously thought.

The Government’s support for the property sector has also attracted approval. The Housing Industry Association is predicting a big jump in construction activity and an improvement in housing affordability. When the first home owner’s grant was doubled for new house purchases in 2001, the number of new dwellings built increased by 3000 per month over a nine month period. This time around, HIA is tipping new housings starts will jump by 15,000.

Time is of the essence for those wanting to take advantage of this initiative as the changes to the grants are only available unitl June 30, 2009. Because of this "urgency", a wide range of property services and construction businesses should feel immediate benefit, including real estates agents, builders and other trades, home maintenance companies and conveyancers.

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