Australians are spend government stimulus on bills, food
Tasmanians have received the biggest handout from federal government payments designed to stimulate the economy during the coronavirus shutdown.
Latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show one in three Australians has received a COVID-19 stimulus payment in May, with the southern island more likely to receive financial support.
According to the ABS, 47 per cent of Tasmanians had received funds, while 39 per cent of South Australians had accessed support money. Thirty-seven per cent of Queenslanders had also received stimulus payments.
ABS head of household surveys Michelle Marquardt said the majority of funds were either used to pay household bills, put into savings or spent on food consumption.
“People were most likely to use the May stimulus payments to add to savings (29 per cent), pay bills (28 per cent) and purchase food and non-alcoholic drinks (12 per cent),” she said.
People under the age of 65 were more likely to use the money to pay down mortgages and other debts.
The ABS also noted women were more likely to receive a payment than men, and Australians who held a tertiary qualification had less chance of needing to receive support than those who didn’t.
It also found older Australian had spent a significant proportion of support money on household furnishings.
Ms Marquardt said the household data also showed people who were born overseas were more likely to wear a mask and avoid public places and transport.
“People born overseas were more than twice as likely to have worn a face mask at least once in the four weeks before the survey was conducted than people born in Australia,” she said.
“Three in five people born overseas avoided public transport compared to half of those born in Australia.”