Stimulus payments used to pay off credit card debt

New research has found that the Rudd Government’s stimulus payments are going to straight onto the credit card bills with consumers eager to pay off their debt.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monthly credit card statistics showed a 17.5 percent jump in repayments in March to $19.7 billion, coinciding with the Government stimulus payments.

Despite mounting evidence that the majority of the payments are not being spent as intended, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is standing by his decision.

“Our responsibility as the Australian government, faced with the near collapse of the global financial system last September-October, was to act early, decisively and effectively to support the economy then through stimulus.”

He said the cash handouts were aimed at supporting 1.5 million people employed in the Australian retail industry, at a time when retail sales were down.

Data released earlier this month did show that consumers spent a record $19.3 billion in March, a 2.2 percent surge on the previous month.

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