More than one-third of Australians paid a holiday bonus last year, up from 26 per cent in 2010.
In December, the Government announced a new incentive package to encourage people to spend time with family and friends during the festive period.
The new holiday bonus scheme, known as Christmas Bonus, is set to pay out a total of $3.4 billion for the year.
As a result, the annual Christmas bonus will be higher than last year and will now be a $500 billion dollar economy-wide stimulus.
But the $3 billion boost will be more than offset by the fact that a significant number of Australians were still paying into the scheme.
The Government says the extra cash is designed to encourage Australians to spend more time with their families, with the aim of boosting economic growth and the employment rate.
However, the Christmas Bonus program has had some critics.
It’s been widely criticised for the fact there’s been no clear policy for how the Christmas incentive money is allocated.
The program has been criticised for not having a clear mandate, given it has been administered by the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Workplace Safety and it has only been in place for a few months.
“The Government is being very generous with the Christmas bonuses.
It’s not really saying what the bonus is worth.
It doesn’t have a clear plan of how much is going to be paid,” Dr Stuart Gee, professor of economics at Griffith University, said.”
I think it’s a little bit of a waste of taxpayers money.”
The Christmas Bonus incentive was introduced by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2015, after the Federal Government announced that its economic stimulus package would be a three-year $1.6 billion boost.
However the Government’s first Christmas Bonus was introduced in 2015 with a $1 billion bonus for the first three years, which was later reduced to $800 million.
After Labor lost power in November, the Opposition Government introduced a two-year holiday bonus, which has now been cut to $1 million for the current financial year.
The Opposition has also proposed a four-year bonus for 2017-18, which is expected to be increased to $3 million for those who make more than $150,000 a year.
But a spokeswoman for the Federal Labor Government said it was a matter for the Government to determine whether the $1,000 bonus for those making $150 and over was an appropriate incentive for the economy.
“Labor’s Christmas Bonus is designed as a tool to stimulate our economy by making the Christmas period a bit of an extravaganza and giving people more time off to spend with family,” Ms O’Brien said.
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