Wednesday, May 20, 2009

£885m of tenants' cash safeguarded

The Government has acted to protect the public from potential service cuts or council tax increases that could result from local authority investments in Icelandic banks while efforts continue to recover the money.

Local Government Minister John Healey has laid regulations before Parliament that enable authorities to postpone any possible budgetary impact of this until 2010-11.

Without this help, they would have to make immediate provision for possible losses in their revenue budgets - with potentially serious impacts on council tax or services.

New statistics published today show that as at the end of last year, 125 local authorities in England had outstanding investments of around £923.2million in Icelandic banks.

John Healey said:

"Following the failure of Icelandic banks last year the Government - with the Local Government Association - acted immediately to ensure no local authority faced serious short term difficulty as a result. We continue to work closely with the banks and Icelandic authorities to help local authorities and other creditors recover their money.

"This money isn't lost but it is at risk so under normal financial rules this risk would need to be taken into account in their budgets. I was concerned about the possible, and potentially unnecessary, effect this could have on services and council tax. That's why I am taking this exceptional step that gives authorities some breathing space that should allow them to be clearer what sums, if any, are still at risk. Meanwhile the Government will continue its efforts to ensure that investors recover as much as possible from the banks."

The regulations come into force on 31 March 2009 and apply immediately.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Toy Till

Cash registers were invented in the1880s to prevent shop assistants making mistakes with customers' change. This toy till is mechanically operated, not electronically and it uses pounds, shillings and pence. It was made before the introduction of decimal currency in 1971.

Children often play with toys that replicate adult work and life.

Toy tills like these were designed to be educational, helping children to develop their numeracy skills.

Monday, May 04, 2009

$950 One-off Cash Bonus to Support Jobs

The Rudd Government today announced five key $950 one-off payments for low and middle income households and individuals.

The Government is providing these cash payments to immediately support jobs and strengthen the Australian economy during a severe global recession.

These targeted cash bonuses are a key element of the Government’s $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan to support up to 90,000 Australian jobs.

To immediately stimulate the economy in the shortest possible time, five groups of one-off cash bonuses will be paid in March and April 2009.

These five key bonuses include a:

  • 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.

To support jobs in the middle of a severe global recession the Government must stimulate the economy in the most immediate manner possible.

That is why one off cash bonuses to people and families who are doing it toughest are a key part of our Nation Building and Jobs Plan.

These one off cash bonuses reflect the weight of economic authority – including the advice of the International Monetary Fund – that targeted one off payments rather than generalised tax cuts spread over a lengthy period are more likely to be consumed, and thus provide a more effective economic stimulus and provide more support for Australian jobs.

There will be no quick fixes, but the Government is determined to act swiftly and decisively to support Australian households, growth and jobs.

These cash bonuses will stimulate consumption quickly, supporting economic activity and jobs until our nation building initiatives have an impact.

This $12.7 billion package is a major economic initiative to deal with these extraordinary economic times and is in addition to the Economic Security Strategy that the Rudd Government delivered in December 2008.