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Federal Government export assistance falls

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Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean has blamed the Howard government for a drop in the amount paid to exporters under the Export Market Development Grant scheme.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean has blamed the Howard government for a drop in the amount paid to exporters under the Export Market Development Grant scheme.

Crean announced yesterday that the initial maximum payment under the program for 2007-08 would be $40,000. According to the Austrade website, the initial maximum payment in 2006-07 was $70,000.

Crean says the payment has fallen because of changes made to the eligibility rules around the grant by the Howard government in 2006. The eligibility changes led to a 28.6% increase in grant claims in 2007-08, but Crean says the previous government did not provide any additional funding to cover this rise.

“The former government’s failure to adequately fund changes they made to the scheme two years ago has resulted in a lower payment this year.”

A spokesman for Crean says the Labor Government has increased the funding to the program by $50 million and this extra money will swell the grant pool for next year’s round of grants.

 

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