5 Feb 2009

Stimulus package passes in Australian lower house

4:10 pm on 5 February 2009

The Australian government's $A42 billion economic stimulus package has passed the lower house of parliament after a 15-hour debate went through Wednesday night.

However, the government will not be able to meet its deadline for parliament to pass its legislation.

Opposition and crossbench senators have brokered a deal to force an upper house inquiry of measures contained in the package - including cash handouts to nearly nine million Australians - delaying parliamentary approval until next week.

The government wanted the bills rushed through parliament to meet a March deadline for paying families $A950 for each of their school-age children.

The legislation includes a bill allowing the government to increase the limit it can borrow to service debt, from $A75 billion to $A200 billion.