Yesterday was the first anniversary of the annoucement of the second stimulus package. In total $42 billion was allocated to be spent in order to stave off the greatest recession since the great depression. Yesterday the Commonwealth Co-ordinator General released a report into the progress of that spending as at December 2009. Very glossy, nice photos, long of claims but short on evidence.
The stimulus package was sold as being Timely, Targeted and Temporary. By definition it would be temporary because the government didn’t intend to continue spending money forever, but as the report clearly indicates the spending has not been Timely or Temporary – certainly not timely and temporary enough.
Stimulus funds paid
Of the $30.1 billion available under the Plan for infrastructure components, $11.5 billion has been paid. Of this:
• $5.2 billion had been paid across the Building the Education Revolution;
• $793 million has been paid under Other Education programs;
• $1.6 billion has been paid under the Defence and Social Housing programs;
• $500 million of Community Infrastructure Program funding has been paid;
• $2 billion has been paid under the Road and Rail infrastructure programs; and
• $1.4 billion has been paid under the Energy Efficient Homes program.
In addition, $11.9 billion has been paid directly to individuals as cash payments and $2.4 billion in deductions have been claimed to date under the Small Business and General Business Tax Break. In total, $25.8 billion has been paid across the Plan.
So that’s about 61 percent of the money spent – the remaining 39 percent will continue to be spent as the economy continues to grow and the danger of recession is long past.