Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has delivered an Address to the Nation, following the announcement of the government’s second stimulus package.
Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan today announced a $42 million package of measures in response to the global financial crisis. The measures include a one-off $950 cash bonus to individuals. A home insulation program will be introduced, as will a program of new and upgraded buildings in schools, to be called Building the Education Revolution. There will be a black spots, boom gates, regional roads and community infrastructure program.
- Listen to Rudd’s Address to the Nation (4m)
Transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Nation.
Good evening, in the last three months, the global financial crisis has deteriorated dramatically.
We now face a global economic recession – with a massive impact on jobs right across the world.
What began with unrestrained greed on Wall Street has now spread across every economy in the world.
For Australia this reality has also hit home. Six of our ten major trading partners are now in recession.
Our biggest trading partner, China, has had its growth forecasts halved in the last year.
Australia faces a stark choice.
Act now to reduce the impact on the economy, families and jobs.
Or fold your arms and allow the free market to run its course.
The policy of this government is to act and to act decisively.
Today we have launched a massive nation-building plan to support jobs and small businesses in the short term and to build schools, energy efficient housing and roads for the long term.
The centre piece of the Plan is the largest single school modernisation program in Australia’s history.
We will fund a new 21st century school library, multipurpose hall, or classroom modernisation for each of Australia’s 7,400 primary schools.
We will also provide funding for new science labs or language centres for 500 secondary schools.
We will provide grants of up to $200,000 for individual school communities to fund much-needed maintenance.
Second, the Government will install ceiling insulation in up to 2.7 million Australian homes – with the aim of having insulation in every Australian owner/occupier house – good for the environment and good for jobs.
Third, we will fund the largest ever single investment in housing by building more than 20,000 new community and defence homes to help keep our tradesmen and women employed.
Fourth, we will act to support households bearing the brunt of the crisis by stimulating the economy now by paying $950 one-off tax bonuses to low and middle income families, singles, students, drought affected farmers and single income families.
Fifth, for small business we will deliver a 30 cent in every dollar investment tax break for the immediate period ahead.
In this plan, we are investing in the future and investing also to support Australian jobs.
Because of the global recession the Government will go into temporary deficit and once the global economy recovers, act to restore our budget to surplus.
That’s the responsible course of action for the nation.
I recognise that a temporary deficit may not be popular.
But that is the global reality we face with virtually all Governments now in deficit.
I cannot remove the impact of the global recession on Australian jobs.
But by Government action we can reduce it.
I have absolute confidence that this strategy, combined with the great underlying strengths of the Australian economy and people, will see our nation through this crisis.
I thank you for listening.