We have all been a little 'miffed' about the proposed $950 handout suggested by the Rudd Government as part of the 'stimulus package'. What a great way to spend $12.7 billion!
Given what has transpired in Victoria this last week, I'm sure the money can be better spent. It may not be a perfect idea, but I have an idea that I have put on paper and sent to a number of Government departments.
If you feel so inclined after reading my email below, please copy it and send it to your entiure address book. If it gets enough circulation, then it's bound to get noticed:
Victorian bushfire disaster recovery plan.
The World economy is hurting and Australia is hurting, but not as much as the poor folk who have lost their homes, livelihood and even loved ones in the recent Victorian bushfires. There has been much consternation by the Rudd Government to formulate a disaster recovery plan for the Australian economy, culminating in the recently released $42 billion ‘Stimulus Package’. Along with the proposed $28.8 billion allocated to infrastructure spending for schools, housing and roads, a further $12.7 billion is planned to be distributed to Australia’s low to middle income earners by way of a $950.00 one off payment.
Let’s do some quick calculations here:
$12.7 billion divided by an average payout of $950 equates to just on 13 368 000 Australians who will receive this ‘one time’ payment. This is an Australian stimulus package, yet it makes me wonder where the majority of the 13.368 million recipients will spend their $950.00. How many will purchase imported consumer electronics or household items and unwittingly send their money to China, Taiwan or Japan? Where can we spend $950.00 and ensure that the money actually does assist to stimulate the Australian economy?
Now let’s consider these poor individuals who have experienced so much in the last few days as the fires have ravaged and decimated their lives. Where will their $950.00 go? Not very far! $950.00 won’t even cover the replacement of clothing for one individual, let alone a family.
Worst still, many of those unfortunate souls were either underinsured or had no insurance at all. Many older folk; reliant only on their pension; or families with limited income lived in the fire ravaged areas, and many simply could not afford insurance payments. These people have lost everything, and with no insurance, they cannot put clothes on their backs, let alone a roof over their heads.
The Australian public are rallying to help, with over $15 million in donations to date. Add to this the $10 million pledged by the Government, but this just isn’t enough. However, there is a way that both the Government and the Australian people can help, and help not only those directly affected by the fires but help Australia along the way.
Imagine for a moment that the government allocated a grant of $200 000 to each family that lost their homes to the fire. 750 homes lost equates to $150 million in grants. The $200k could be monitored by a suitable agency and allocated to replace homes, cars, furniture, clothing, outbuildings equipment etc. Like for like. Not new for old, just like for like to allow them to get back on their feet. It wouldn’t be that difficult to monitor and allocate.
If $200k won’t replace your house and goods then the remainder is looked after by your insurance company. Those without insurance then have an opportunity to rebuild their lives.
This $150 million government assistance would have a flow on effect which would touch us all to some extent:
• Insurance company payouts would be reduced, thereby easing pressure on the insurance companies to raise the cost of insurance premiums to cover their lost funds.
• People will have money to rebuild, thereby instantly creating a need for tradesmen and associated jobs in the affected areas.
• There will be an instant demand for building materials, equipment, clothing and household items as people replace what was lost, injecting funds into local Victorian businesses and infrastructure.
• Let alone the positive mental stimulus created by assisting these poor people to get their lives back.
Now $150 million is a lot of money in anyone’s terms, but $12.7 billion is a whole lot more, and our Government is about to give this away.
Let’s do some math here. As stated above, with the proposed $12.7 billion dollar handouts, approximately 13 million, 368 thousand Australians will receive a $950 cheque from the Government under the proposed ‘stimulus package’.
Let us take the $150 million away and give these 750 families their $200k to rebuild their lives and homes. This leaves the Government with $12.55 billion left to distribute to the 13.368 million Aussies out there. The proposed $950 cheque will be reduced to $938.00!
Less than $12.00 per person. This is what we ask the 13.368 million Aussies who are eligible for the Government’s ‘stimulus package’ payment to sacrifice so as to allow these 750 families to rebuild their lives and homes.
This letter needs to reach those with the power to make this happen. Please pass this on to everyone in your address book in the hope that it will reach our decision makers, or at least those with the ability to apply pressure to our Government and make this happen.
For all of those affected by the current Victorian tragedy.