Source: LUCY SKUTHORP - Farm online - Tue 14 Oct 08
Up to $4 billion will flow into regional Australia as part of the Government's $10.4 billion economic rescue package, announced in Canberra today.
Calling it a "buffer for the future", Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the multi-billion dollar package in response to the unfolding turmoil in world economies and forecasts of a significant slowing in the Australian and most other developed economies.
The package predominantly targets pensioners, low-middle income families, first home buyers and infrastructure investments.
Mr Rudd said world financial events in recent weeks had triggered a "rolling national security crisis" and stipulated it was important to plan ahead, continue to examine the unfolding events and "act decisively".
He said the government's $10.4 billion strategy, which would see most payments start in December, was necessary for three reasons - firstly data from the international monetary fund pointed to significant downwards revisions in world economies, secondly there was evidence of a softening of commodity prices, and thirdly all confidence indicators revealed difficult times ahead.
Mr Rudd said 2.9 million regional and rural Australians would see about $4 billion of the package to help with cost of living pressures and sustain economic growth.