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$42 billion nation building and jobs plan

$42 billion nation building and jobs plan

03 February 2009

The Rudd Government today announced a $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan to support jobs and invest in future long term economic growth.

This historic long term and targeted Nation Building and Jobs Plan is a further decisive step in the Government’s response to the severe global recession.

Treasury estimates that today’s Nation Building and Jobs Plan will support up to 90,000 jobs in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Key measures funded by today’s Nation Building and Jobs Plan include:

  • Free ceiling insulation for around 2.7 million Australian homes
  • Build or upgrade a building in every one of Australia’s 9,540 schools
  • Build more than 20,000 new social and defence homes
  • $950 one off cash payments to eligible families, single workers, students, drought effected farmers and others
  • A temporary business investment tax break for small and general businesses buying eligible assets
  • Significantly increase funding for local community infrastructure and local road projects

The initiatives in the Nation Building and Jobs Plan will provide a boost to economic growth of around ½ per cent of GDP in 2008-09 and around ¾ per cent to 1 per cent of GDP in 2009-10.

By investing in jobs and long term economic growth the Plan strikes the right balance between immediate support for jobs now, and delivering the long term investments needed to strengthen future economic growth.

For every $1 spent providing immediate stimulus to the economy the Government has invested more than $2 on long term investments that will generate future economic growth.

The Global Recession

The world is now caught in the worst economic crisis since the Second World War, a crisis that has delivered recessions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and the Eurozone.

The IMF is now forecasting advanced economies to contract by 2 per cent collectively in 2009. Growth has also slowed dramatically in key emerging economies, China in particular. All these factors have caused a rapid unwinding of the mining boom in Australia, with major consequences for Australian revenues, growth and jobs.

In fact the global recession has already pushed the Budget into deficit, even before policy action is taken. Decisive action is now required to strengthen the Australian economy and in these circumstances, a temporary deficit is the only responsible course of action to support jobs and economic growth.

National action alone cannot reverse the global forces buffeting the Australian economy; these global forces can only be fully turned around with a coordinate global response.

Long Term Nation Building Investments

Direct investment by the Government in goods and services has significant scope to boost economic growth and productivity and support jobs because it adds directly to demand. There are five major components of the Nation Building and Jobs plan.

Building the Education Revolution

  • Build or upgrade large scale infrastructure, such as libraries and halls in every primary school, special school, and K-12s school in Australia.
  • Build 500 new science laboratories and language learning centres in schools that can demonstrate need.
  • Up to $200,000 to every Australian school for maintenance and renewal of school buildings.

Energy Efficient Homes

  • Installing ceiling insulation in 2.7 million Australian homes which will cut around $200 per year off the energy bills of these households
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 49.4 million tonnes by 2020, the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road

20,000 Social and Defence Homes

  • Build 20,000 new social housing dwellings and 802 new houses for the Australian Defence Force.
  • Urgent maintenance to upgrade around 2,500 vacant social houses

Small Businesses and General Business Tax Break

  • A 30 cent in every dollar investment tax break for small and general businesses buying eligible assets.

Black Spots, Boom Gates, Regional Roads and Community Infrastructure

  • 350 additional projects in the Black Spot Program and the installation of around 200 new boom gates at high risk rail crossings
  • $650 million funding boost for local community infrastructure and maintenance on Australia’s national highways

Immediate Stimulus to Support Jobs and Economic Growth

Targeted bonuses to low and middle income households will provide an immediate stimulus to the economy and support Australian jobs. In conjunction with the payments delivered as part of the $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy announced in October, these measures have been designed to assist those groups most affected by the flow-on effects of the global recession.

The five one off cash bonuses includes in today’s plan are the:

  • Tax Bonus for Working Australians of up to $950 paid to every eligible Australian worker earning $100,000 or less. This will support up to 8.7 million individuals.
  • $950 Single Income Family Bonus to support 1.5 million families with one main income earner.
  • $950 Farmers’ Hardship Bonus paid to around 21,500 drought affected farmers and farm dependent small business owners receiving exceptional circumstances related income support.
  • $950 per child Back to School Bonus to support 2.8 million children from low- and middle-income families.
  • $950 Training and Learning Bonus paid to students and people outside of the workforce returning to study to help with the costs of education and training.

The $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan builds on the stimulus measures already in place to support economic activity and jobs.

Stimulus measures already implemented by the Rudd Government include the $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy, the $300 million program to build local community infrastructure, the $15.2 billion COAG funding package and the Nation Building Package announced in December 2008.