This week the Tax Bonus component of the Rudd Government's plan to stimulate the Australian economy will begin to flow, supporting jobs until the Government's direct investments in schools, roads and housing take full effect.
Around 7.5 million Australian taxpayers will start receiving Tax Bonuses which will support businesses and jobs in the face of the most severe global recession experienced in living memory.
The Nation Building and Jobs Plan has been widely endorsed by Australia's peak business, employee and community groups - as well as Australia's most respected economists - as a vital way of cushioning Australia from the worst impacts of the global recession.
The Tax Bonus is made up of payments of:
The OECD recently confirmed that Australia's stimulus measures, strongly focussed on direct government investment, are amongst the most effective of all OECD packages in stimulating activity.
Direct investment in roads, schools and homes accounts for more than two-thirds of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan.
The Tax Bonus will add to economic stimulus provided through our Economic Security Strategy which has seen a clear boost to activity and jobs, particularly in the retail sector which employs over 1 million Australians.
Retail sales in December showed the strongest monthly growth since August 2000 and fourth highest on record. Retail sales turnover in February 2009 remained 2.3 per cent higher than in November 2008 - before the first economic stimulus payments took effect.
In addition to the Economic Security Strategy payments, the Tax Bonus payments will provide further support to the economy and jobs until our nation building infrastructure investments come on-line.
To receive the Tax Bonus, taxpayers must have paid tax in 2007-08, after taking into account available tax offsets.
Taxpayers have until 30 June this year to lodge their tax returns and still be eligible for the Tax Bonus. However I encourage Australians to lodge their tax returns as soon as possible, so they can receive their Tax Bonus as soon as possible.
This will help ensure the Tax Bonus is as effective as possible in supporting jobs until the direct investment components of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan kick in.
Taxpayers can obtain assistance from the Australian Taxation Office by telephoning 1300 686 636, by visiting www.ato.gov.au, or by visiting a Tax Office in person.
The Tax Bonus is a key part of the Rudd Government's commitment to take whatever action is necessary and responsible to support Australian jobs in the face of the global recession.
6 April 2009