The High Court ruled this morning that the $900 bonus to 8.7 million Australian taxpayers is valid and can go ahead.
The legal challenge was brought to the High Court by Bryan Pape, (eligible to receive $250 from the Stimulus package). According to Mr. Pape, the payments were a gift, not a tax measure, for which the Government had no constitutional powers.
The hearing was held on 30 - 31st March during which the tax bonus was on hold.
Chief Justice Robert French said a majority of the court's seven judges agreed the Rudd Government's Tax Bonus for Working Australians Act was supported by one or more constitutional heads of power and that there had been a valid appropriation of the consolidated revenue fund. It is still unknown which judges were in dissent and the court announced it would publish its reasons for the decision at a later date.
Mr Pape, a champion of states' rights, said he was not disappointed, but he was keen to see the court's reasons.