The Brisbane Holiday Dollars voucher program is a tiny stimulus from a macroeconomic perspective, representing only $3 million of state government funding at the most, but businesses dependent on tourism need all the help they can get given all the COVID-related travel restrictions and the ever-present threat of snap lockdowns.
Normally, I’d be highly critical of this type of measure as a waste of money, but these are not ordinary times. Indeed, I spoke approvingly of targeted state government assistance to tourism-dependent businesses in my remarks to the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into the state’s economic response to COVID last year. Note also that Griffith Professor Fabrizio Carmignani noted vouchers can deliver better bang-for-buck than other types of stimulus measures when I interviewed him for my Economics Explored podcast earlier this year (check out Fiscal Stimulus with Fabrizio Carmignani).
Credit to the state government for making it easy to register for the lottery for the $100 vouchers. The vouchers are intended to cover half the costs of eligible activities (e.g. Story Bridge climb or staying in a local hotel). If you’re a Queenslander, make sure you sign up for the draw via the link above. You have until just before midday this Friday to register. A Whitsunday Holiday Dollars program will be open for registrations from 4 May, and the government has already provided vouchers for travel to Cairns.
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