Awww, I missed two protests in as many days One does have to wonder what’s happened this time

Quick questions about Rudd’s latest stimulus package

February 3rd, 2009 at 03:51pm

I’ve just checked through a bunch of news sources, and I can only assume that either no journalist has bothered to check the details, or the government’s papers, which Kevin Rudd claimed the answers could be seen in during his speech, don’t have the answer.

ABC News appear to have gone in to the most detail (albeit in a less-than-clear way, see “edit 1” below for details) on this segment of the stimulus package:

Millions of Australians are also set to benefit from $12.7 billion worth of tax bonuses and one off payments to low and middle-income households, farmers, single-income families and students.

Those earning up to $80,000 are eligible for a tax bonus of $950, while those earning between $80,000 and $90,000 will receive $600 and those earning between $90,000 and $100,000 will receive $300.

The Government estimate almost 10 million Australians will be eligible for the bonuses.

A cash payment of $950 will also be given to single-income families, farmers facing hardship, parents with children heading back to school and students and unemployed people returning to study.

The cash payments will be released next month and the bonuses from April.

The Government says the cash payments are immediate measures to support jobs and strengthen growth during the global recession.

Question 1: At what point in time are these annualised income figured being derived? I assume that it would have to be June 30 last year, which would be the latest reliable figures which the government have to work with.

Question 2: Assuming June 30 to be the date for calculations, are the calculations based on the entire 2007/2008 financial year, or the pay week/fortnight/month leading up to the end of the financial year?

Question 3: The unemployment rate is rising, but not everyone who is unemployed can be bothered wasting time going through Centrelink’s tediously slow application and ongoing “we need to check up on you” processes when it is often simpler to just go and find a job. With this as the case, the Centrelink figures are not necessarily a true indication of the people who are actually unemployed at this very moment. People who are unemployed are almost certainly making less money right now than they did on June 30…how do you take this in to consideration when deciding how much to pay them?

Question 4: A more specific example: I was employed on June 30, I was not employed for parts of July and August, I was then employed from August through until December, I am again unemployed, however I am awaiting official confirmation of the starting date for a new job which will probably be next week. At the times where I was employed, I probably pushed the household income slightly over 80K, obviously the household income was a long way under 80K when I wasn’t employed, and when I start work again the household income will probably be just under 80K. How much does my household get from the stimulus?
Edit 1: It looks like this package is being paid to individuals rather than to households, although it’s difficult to see that from the ABC article which refers to “one off payments to low and middle-income households”. As such, my example doesn’t make much sense any more as I never personally was being paid 80K, although there was one pay week where, if my pay was extrapolated out to an annualised amount, I would have been earning about 120K, which would have invalidated me for the payment. As such, my question still stands under the changed wording of “how much do I get from the stimulus?” End Edit

Question 5: When I bothered Centrelink briefly to discuss my options, they wanted to call me “independent” because of the amount of income I have derived. Does this effectively make me a household unto myself for the purposes of the stimulus?
Edit 2: Question retracted, see not above for reason. End Edit

Question 6: Working on the assumption that “household” is defined by the property boundary, how do you distribute the stimulus when there are three adults living in the household?
Edit 3: Question retracted, see not above for reason. End Edit

Question 7: Do you have an actual date for the payments?

I could probably think of more, but that will do for now.

I’ll need some time to digest the rest of the stimulus package before thinking aloud about it on this blog.


Entry Filed under: General News

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