Australia: Same-sex marriage could be a $1.2 billion stimulus package

Legalising same-sex marriage could pump $1.2 billion into the Australian economy, complementing the government's high priority small business agenda rather than distracting from it. Fairfax Media analysis shows that the reform would double as a stimulus package, especially for the small business sector, despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott's rhetoric that legislating the budget is more urgent.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson, who recently compared the rumbling of an airplane overhead to the "roar of small business" responding to the budget, told Fairfax Media that "the roar might take on a different tone" if there was marriage reform. Mr Abbott has said that same-sex marriage is a significant issue but that the government's "fundamental priority" is legislating the "small business budget boost".

Myriad businesses are involved in weddings. From bakers and tailors to celebrants and jewellers, marriage was worth $7.3 billion last year. While Mr Billson is "thrilled to see anything that energises enterprise", he is cautious and remains uncommitted but open to legalising same-sex marriage. Read More