Families decide how to spend PM's cash

TWEED local Jasmine Bracefield is taking a sensible approach to the silly season despite the billions of dollars being thrown at families this Christmas. The Bilambil Heights mother of two said she and her partner had no plans to splurge the $1000-a-child Christmas bonus to be received next month by over two million families across Australia. "We don't go wasting it," Ms Bracefield said. "We have got a mortgage and two children so we've got to be sensible."

Ms Bracefield said the family only bought presents for the children, choosing not to waste it on the adults. "We always have a budget," she said. "We try and spend $30 to $50 per child."

This, however, may come as bad news to those number crunchers relying on the $3.9 billion one-off, tax-free payment to boost the flagging economy. The payment will cover 3.86 million children, with low and middle income families who receive the family tax benefit part A to get the money paid into their bank account from December 8. Those who elect to receive the family tax benefit in their tax return will get the bonus when they lodge their return. But children born from the day of the announcement of the package, October 15, 2008, will not get the $1000 bonus even if the family is eligible for the family tax benefit part A. The $1000 payment will also go to families with dependent children receiving youth allowance, Abstudy or a veterans' children education scheme payment.

Tweed City Shopping Centre marketing manager Jessica Hitchin said she expected a positive trading period this Christmas.

"The intention of the bonus has been for recipients to spend. With this in mind, we anticipate an injection, which will be a positive outcome for the Centre and the wider economy," she said.

When asked if the current financial climate had reduced spending, Ms Hitchin said there had been no noticeable drop off.

"Our new retail offering has boosted the popularity of Tweed City and we have continued to enjoy strong trading," she said.



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