Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 19:51 UK

US to send out $100bn in rebates

US dollars
The government hopes the plan will help prevent a recession

The US government plans to give rebates to consumers totalling more than $100bn (50bn), as part of a wider economic stimulus plan, imminently.

US President George W Bush said the tax rebates, aimed at some 117 million US homes, would be given starting Monday. They had been due to go out in May.

Individuals will see up to $600 and married couples could see up to $1,200.

The rebates are part of a $150bn plan that aims to boost growth and encourage spending, and avert a recession.

Slowdown

"Starting Monday, the effects of the stimulus will begin to reach millions of households across our country," Mr Bush said.

He said it was "obvious" the US economy was in slowdown, but luckily the government "recognised the signs early and took action".

"The money is going to help Americans offset the high prices we're seeing at the gas pump, the grocery store, and also give our economy a boost to help us pull out of this economic slowdown," he added.

Consumer spending accounts for two thirds of the US economy.

The rebates are the single most important feature of the economic stimulus plan, but businesses will also benefit from $50bn in tax cuts.

The first payment to be sent will be electronic payments. Cheques are set to be posted from 9 May.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said most consumers should have their rebates by early June.


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