Spoil yourself and boost the economy

IF you really want to help the local economy with your stimulus package money, go out and have dinner, or get a massage, says economics Professor Ian Eddie.

The Southern Cross University Graduate College of Management professor told the Tweed Daily News pampering yourself with a meal or mass- age was actually one of the best ways of ensuring your money stayed in the local economy.

Mr Eddie said the aim of the stimulus package was to keep Australia's domestic growth in the positive for this quarter, but people were free to do whatever they wanted with their handouts.

“This is sort of a challenge for people to do what the government wants them to do with the money,” Mr Eddie said.

He said buying a foreign-made piece of electronics equipment does help Australia's retail sector, despite much of the money going overseas.

Also, the overseas companies that make the electronics use a lot of raw materials sourced from Australia to build them.

Mr Eddie predicted the home renovations market would boom because people would turn to renovating their current house instead of looking to buy a new one.

“We do know that instead of people moving to a new home, they renovate their existing home; the home equipment market will have a bit of a boom,” Mr Eddie said.

He felt the government should have looked longer-term in its investment.

“If the government was going to allocate a section of the budget (to a stimulus package) they should be looking at long-term investment,” he said.

He said more money should have been put into infrastructure, like telecoms, rail, roads, shipping and green technology.

There are five key bonuses in the government's package, some of which have already been given out.

The farmer's hardship bonus, training and learning bonus and back-to-school bonus are all $950, while the tax bonus for working Australians and single-income family bonus are both $900 each.

The bonuses are being given out until early April.

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