The Federal Government’s $42 billion dollar stimulus package passed the senate ealier today, but at a cost. The Prime Minister agreed to give South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenphon $900 million dollars to push forward future projects for the Murray Darling Basin in return for his vote. The $12 billion one off payments will be paid to low and middle income families and workers from mid March. However the payment amount has changed from the original package. Single income families’ payments has been cut from $950 to $900, people with a taxable income of less than $80,000 will also recieve the reduced amount of $900. While those earning between $80,000 and $90,000 will receive $600 instead of the original $650 and those with a taxable income between $90,000 and $100,000 will also receive $50 less with a payment of $250. The deal couldn’t have been struck without the Greens decision yesterday to accept the stimulus package with a $435 million dollar deal which lead to the payments being cut by $50 for each group. More than $28 billion dollars will go towards school repairs, building news homes while $50 million will go towards help for the unemployed and churches, charities and grass-root job creation schemes will also benefit from the stimulus package’s $300 million allocated to these institutions. The finer details of the stimulus package will be announced this week.