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Australia approves $26.5 billion stimulus plan

  • Story Highlights
  • Nation Building and Jobs Plan will support up to 90,000 jobs in the next year
  • PM Kevin Rudd forecasts a budgeted deficit of US $14 billion for 2008-09
  • Rudd: World now caught in the worst economic crisis since Second World War
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(CNN) -- Australian leaders passed a $42 billion (US $26.5 billion) stimulus package Friday in response to the global recession.

The package, called the Nation Building and Jobs Plan, is aimed at supporting up to 90,000 jobs in the next year, with long-term investment in education, energy-efficient homes, social housing, small businesses and infrastructure, according to a news release from Treasurer Wayne Swan and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

"The world is now caught in the worst economic crisis since the Second World War, a crisis that has delivered recessions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and the Eurozone," the statement said.

Rudd has forecast a budgeted deficit of $22.5 billion (US $14 billion) for 2008-09.

The plan will pay to insulate the ceilings of about 2.7 million homes; upgrade schools; give $950 (US $626) cash payments to low- and middle-income households; boost local infrastructure projects; and give tax breaks to small businesses.

The government estimated that ceiling insulation will cut $200 (US $126) per year off household energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road by the year 2020.

All About AustraliaReserve Bank of AustraliaAustralian PoliticsKevin Rudd

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