2 Jun 2008

People in Northern Marianas enjoy a windfall with rebates to spark economy

3:33 pm on 2 June 2008

The release of Washington's economic stimulus cheques in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has provided welcome relief to local consumers.

In the face of a series of hikes in CNMI electricity rates, the soaring cost of oil and the increased cost of basic goods, the extra cash from the U.S. government has allowed for unexpected shopping sprees.

The U.S. government sent 16 point one million US dollars for the payment of economic stimulus rebates to CNMI taxpayers, in a bid to stimulate economic growth.

The rebates were the centrepiece of the U.S. government's 168 billion US dollars economic stimulus package enacted in February to foster economic activity.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says for many people it is quite a windfall.

"Some of the people got $300, $600 depending on the size of the household. One couple you get $1200 and if you have a kid you have 300 extra for each kid. So its quite a windfall of money right now."

Mark Rabago says 11,000 cheques have been sent out so far with another 12,000 cheques due out later this month.