Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stimulus cheques including $900 bonus will be mailed out beginning March, says Wayne Swan

TREASURER Wayne Swan says the one-off payments that form part of the government's economic stimulus package will be mailed out to all those eligible within two months.

The government's $42 billion economic stimulus package, which is aimed at staving off a recession, was passed by parliament on Friday.

Mr Swan said the first one-off bonuses, including the $900 single-income family bonus for families with one main earner, would be delivered by Centrelink from March 11.

The $950 back-to-school bonus, aimed at helping families with school age children with the costs of starting the 2009 school year, would also be mailed then.

Tax bonuses, of up to $900, for working Australians would be delivered from April 6, and people wanting to insulate their home could do so from July 1 by phoning 1800 808 751, said Mr Swan.

He said overnight figures from the European and US economies proved the urgent need for the government to provide "vital support'' to Australia's economy.

"What is going on internationally does demand urgent action from the Australian government,'' Mr Swan told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday.

"Overnight we've seen figures from the European community where the eurozone has shrunk in the December quarter by 1.5 per cent, that comes on figures last week where the shrinkage in the US economy in the December quarter was 1.0 per cent.

"What we've got to do now is to roll up our sleeves, get on with the job of supporting households and businesses, and above all supporting jobs,'' Mr Swan said.

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