The government has stopped writing stimulus cheques and any still in circulation are "leftovers", Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Five years after Labor's payout to Australians, designed to boost the domestic economy during the global financial crisis, a cheque has turned up in regional Queensland sparking debate that the cash-strapped federal government is still making handouts.

"My advice is that no new cheques, that is freshly originated, have been issued," Mr Rudd told reporters on Monday.

"These are some leftovers from way back in the past."

Lychee and macadamia nut farmer Craig van Rooyen said a cheque for $900 dated May 21, 2013 recently turned up at his Queensland property, addressed to a British backpacker who worked for him several years ago.

There are reports 6000 such stimulus cheques have been sent since January.

Finance Minister Penny Wong said the payments are administered by the Australian Tax Office.

Labor parliamentary secretary Amanda Rishworth said a small number of people who did not cash the initial cheques had requested the payment be reissued.

However Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said it is proof of Labor's "incompetence".

"There's no greater benchmark of the waste of Labor than the $900 cheques that are going out this year," he said.

As for the homeless cheque in Queensland, Mr van Rooyen said he will "return to sender".

 

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