By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Clive Peeters MD Greg Smith has praised the Federal Government for having a go with its stimulus package, but criticised the nature of its attempt, with Smith saying he would have preferred infrastructure improvements and tax cuts.
In an interview with Current.com.au, Smith, who is an accountant by trade, said that the Government could have spent the money in a different way to best help retailers.
“My view is that they could have done it better,” said Smith. “I would have preferred to have seen more of the money poured into infrastructure development, and certainly I think…tax cuts would have been something that might have been more effective over the longer term.”
Despite not agreeing with the way the money was spent, Smith said that the Government was right to launch a stimulus package campaign.
“I don’t criticise them for trying, obviously we needed some stimulus packages out there, and I think at least you can say about them that they’ve had a go.”
Part of Smith’s criticism of the Rudd Government’s stimulus package is that he does not believe the money has been used to reignite the economy, as was desired. Although labelled the ‘Plasma bonus’, Smith said that up 90 per cent of the money has not been spent at the retail level.
“Whether all that money has found its desired objective is very questionable, because I think a lot of it has been saved. People have either taken the opportunity to reduce debt or save, and probably only 10 or 15 per cent of it has found its way into retail spending, so that’s probably not what they intended to do.”