Premier unveils jobs plan

The Tasmanian Government is going a further $44 million into the red to stimulate the economy.

It has unveiled a $76 million package of stimulus measures and new spending, just six months after the state budget.

The Government's new $25 million jobs package includes funding for more infrastructure projects and a payroll tax rebate to encourage employment.

The Premier, Lara Giddings, says it is expected to generate private investment worth $375 million and more than 3,000 jobs Ms Giddings says the time is right for the stimulus package.

"We've seen a pick up in GST which has helped," she said.

"We also had some drop in our state revenues and what we can do by stimulating jobs is actually help our state revenues as well.

"The return is very worthwhile." The Government has also announced a $36 million increase in spending on child protection services and $10 million for corrective services.

Ms Giddings says the unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent is too high.

She says it is a Government plan, not a Labor election platform.

"What the jobs package is today is a modest push in the right direction, it's not just an all-out free spend-for-all," she said.

The Revised Estimates Report puts the deficit at $327 million, $44 million more than the May budget.

But the Finance Minister Scott Bacon says the Government is still on track to return to surplus and be out of net debt by 2014-15.

"Jobs are our number one priority," he said.

The housing industry has welcomed a plan to match a $7,000 federal grant with an $8,000 first home builders grant.

The Housing Industry Association's Stuart Clues says housing construction needs a boost, after falling by about 30 per cent so far this year.

Mr Clues is confident the grant will not lead to gouging by construction companies.

"Our industry is not in a position at the moment to be just jumping up prices." "They're all actively competing for work and this will simply be a welcome salvation.

"It won't be an opportunity to ratchet up prices.

You'll see people actively competing for every home that's being offered."

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