Monday, Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd said the jobless rate would have reached 10%, without government's stimulus packages. According to the statistical office report, the unemployment rate in April had declined to 5.4%.

Yesterday, the government said it will deliver a Paid Parental Leave scheme to support Australian families. The scheme will cost around A$260 million per annum. The new measure will give 18 weeks paid maternity leave for those earning less than A$150,000 a year.

Treasurer, Wayne Swan is set to deliver the budget on May 12. Swan said the budget won't shirk the tough decisions that are absolutely critical in making sure Australia is strongly positioned for the recovery when it comes.

Economists now expect a deficit of around A$60 billion for 2009/10.

For comments and feedback: contact