Australian News Headlines, Auspol News Headlines Thursday 26 April 2018
Breaking News in Brief
The gross national debt has crashed through half a trillion dollars, the deficit is 8 times worse than the 2014 Abbott budget predicted it would be, the 'return to surplus' in 2020/21 is wafer thin, and offers no ability to pay down debt.
Government spends big on advertising
In the past 12 months, $12.1 million was spent on advertising child care while $9.8 million was spent on ads for schools, $7.9 million was spent on energy campaigns while $5.3 million was spent on ads for housing. Overall, cost to taxpayer was $35, 306, 481.54 not including advertising for the NBN.
A timely reminder post ANZAC day.
The LNP has cut $442 million from veterans pensions, they have also cut $442 million from veterans and dependents funding and $200,000 from veterans mental health support.
Budget to unveil 10-year income tax cuts
The Australian Financial Review reports that the income tax cuts to be unveiled in the May federal budget are set to start small and be phased in over a decade so as not to obstruct the return to surplus. The strategy they report, will also enable the government to argue for its re-election on the basis that a Coalition victory would lock in tax cuts for voters over the longer term. The government is committed to returning the budget to surplus in 2020-21, as has been forecast in the past five budgets and mid-year economic updates, and a 2021-21 surplus will be again be forecast in the May 8 budget reports the Australian Financial Review. The Australian Financial Review writes that the income tax cuts, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said previously would be targeted at those earning $87,000 and less, would be relatively modest to begin with so as not to jeopardise the surplus.
Government ditches planned $8bn rise in Medicare levy
The Guardian reports that the Turnbull government will use the looming May budget to dump plans to increase the Medicare levy to fund the national disability insurance scheme, in a shift intended to reframe the tax debate before the next election. It is reported that Scott Morrison will use a speech to business economists on Thursday to confirm the about face on a measure the government outlined in the 2017 budget. While the government won’t lay out the full details of the decision until the budget writes the Guardian, the treasurer will say the government now can afford to jettison a measure forecast to raise $8.2bn over the forward estimates, and still fund the national disability insurance scheme in the 2018 budget and “beyond”, because the strengthening economy has improved the government’s fiscal position.
Michaelia Cash admits knowing of ABCC boss Nigel Hadgkiss breach in Oct, 2016
Banking royal commission witness collapses; Westpac documents expose risky home loans
The ABC reports that witness Terry McMaster, who runs Dover financial planning, has collapsed while under intense questioning at the royal commission. It is reported that Mr McMaster had been grilled about a series of financial advisers hired by his firm after being sacked by other firms or while being investigated by ASIC. Meanwhile writes the ABC, a document dump from round one of the royal commission hearings has exposed Westpac's home loan assessment standards as being dramatically worse than the rest of the big four, causing its share price to slump.
Clive Palmer seeks approval for 'monster mine' next door to Adani
The ABC reports that Clive Palmer has sought federal environmental approval for a huge greenfield coal mine in central Queensland, which documents suggest could produce 33 per cent more coal than Adani's controversial and delayed Carmichael mine. It is reported that its viability depends on the construction of the Carmichael mine, or another mine with a rail link to the coast, adding weight to claims the Adani project could open the floodgates to significantly more coal mining in the Galilee Basin. Environmentalists have called for the Federal Government to reject the new application out-of-hand, without a full assessment writes the ABC. Environmentalists pointed to the impact the mine would potentially have on climate change, freshwater springs, the Great Artesian Basin and threatened species in the area including the black-throated finch and koalas.
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