World coalition backs Australia

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 18-May-20

The UK, New Zealand and Japan are among 62 nations that have agreed to support a motion calling for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus when the World Health Assembly meets on 18 May. Australia has led the push for an inquiry into the pandemic, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne stresses that international collaboration is needed so the world can prevent or respond to future pandemics. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has indicated that the US may be prepared to restore its funding for the World Health Organization, although only the same amount of money that China contributes.

CORPORATES
WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Leaders push to retain national cabinet model for policy reform

Original article by Craig Johnstone, Matthew Denholm
The Australian – Page: 2 : 18-May-20

Several state leaders have praised the national cabinet model and expressed support for it to continue when the coronavirus crisis abates. Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been respectful in his dealings with state and territory leaders during the pandemic. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews agrees that the national cabinet should continue in some form as priority shifts from responding to the health crisis to addressing its economic impact. Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner adds that the national cabinet has "shown the commonwealth at its best".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, TASMANIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, NORTHERN TERRITORY. DEPT OF THE CHIEF MINISTER

Green New Deal puts debt at 44pc of GDP

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 18-May-20

Greens leader Adam Bandt has called on the federal government to lead Australia out of the COVID-19 crisis with a bold economic plan. The Greens will outline the strategies it believes are needed for Australia to recover from COVID-19 on 18 May; its plans include the construction of 500,000 new public housing properties and $59 billion to be spent on sustainable infrastructure. The Greens would guarantee anyone under the age of 30 employment, a training place or free higher education, while they are calling for the current JobSeeker rate of $1,115 per fortnight to be retained.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS

PM’s post-pandemic powerplay

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 18-May-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed the need for greater workplace flexibility in the post-coronavirus environment, in order to boost the economy and get people back to work. He says that employers, workers, unions and government must co-operate in delivering the reforms that are needed in the wake of the pandemic. Morrison is optimistic that the union movement will continue to work constructively with the government, although he does not have similar expectations from Labor. Morrison adds that the immediate priority is to ensure that Australia does not face a second wave of coronavirus infections as lockdown restrictions are eased.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Farmers still waiting for government bushfire loan applications to be assessed

Original article by Lucy Carter
The New Daily – Page: Online : 15-May-20

Farmers on the New South Wales south coast say they are still waiting for applications for federal government bushfire recovery loans to be assessed, some months after the fires hit. Free-range chicken farmer Dan Tarasenko says he could hire "10 people tomorrow" if his two loan applications went through. Figures from the National Bushfire Recovery Agency show that of the 681 applications received for concessional loans, just 288 have been approved. Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud says it is the job of the states and territories to distribute the loans, even though it is federal government money.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL BUSHFIRE RECOVERY AGENCY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Pandemic pain to hit wage rises

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-May-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson says the latest jobs data underlines the need for the minimum wage to remain unchanged in 2020. He warns that an increase in the minimum wage would jeopardise more jobs. Fair Work Commission president Ian Ross has flagged the possibility that a minimum wage rise could be delayed for companies that are receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy. However, the ACTU opposes any delay; it is pushing for a minimum wage rise of four per cent, or $30 a week.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

PM plays a long game with China, US cashes in

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 15-May-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will never "trade away its values" and will continue to pursue calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 despite China’s trade threats. The government holds the view that it is being tested by China, and that China is seeking to create division between the government and business by targeting important trade sectors such as agriculture. With China threatening 80 per cent tariffs on Australian barley, China is now allowing barley imports from the US as part of its commitment under the easing of its trade war with the Trump administration.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ABS April Unemployment estimate doesn’t reflect reality. ABS claims 594,000 lose their jobs but only 104,000 become unemployed (?!?)

Original article by Gary Morgan, Michele Levine, Julian McCrann
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 15-May-20

Yesterday the ABS released its April employment estimates. The ABS estimates that 12,419,000 Australians were employed in April, down 594,000 on March. There were sharp falls for both full-time and part-time employed. The ABS estimate Australian unemployment increased by only 104,000 to 823,000 in April (6.2% of the workforce, up 1%). Australians will be asking, how can the ABS say 594,000 have lost their jobs in April but only 104,000 become unemployed? This is because the ABS claim 490,000 people left the workforce in April. i.e. the ABS claims these people lost their jobs and weren’t then looking for work and available to start work during the reference week. These workers are unemployed – NOT out of the workforce. So the workforce size in April should match the March estimate of 66%. The real ABS unemployment estimate for April is closer to 1.35 million (9.8%) – an increase of 4.6% points. Combined with the estimated ABS under-employment of 1.82 million (13.7%) means a combined unemployment and under-employment of 3.16 million (23.5%). This is much closer to the Roy Morgan April employment estimates showing 2.16 million Australians (15.3%) were unemployed and a total of 3.48 million (24.7%) were either unemployed or under-employed.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Don’t take away job payments: employers

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-May-20

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the $130bn JobKeeper scheme must run its full course, and it should be extended beyond the current end date of 27 September if necessary. He has also cautioned against any move to reduce the amount of the wage subsidy, which is currently $1,500 per fortnight. Some Coalition MPs argue that businesses which have resumed normal operations should no longer receive the subsidy, but Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong suggests that such businesses should instead be allowed to opt out of the scheme.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

‘Massive hit’: unemployment jump set to break ABS records

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 14-May-20

Shane Oliver of AMP Capital expects labour market data to be released on 14 May will show that a record 750,000 jobs were lost in April. AMP Capital forecasts that the unemployment rate rose to 10 per cent in April, while less bearish economists anticipate a jobless rate of between eight and nine per cent. Justin Smirk of Westpac notes that the actual jobless rate is likely to be much higher, as the Australian Bureau of statistics does not consider somebody to be unemployment if they have been laid off but have a job to go back to. Meanwhile, data from the ABS shows that annual growth in wages was just 2.1 per cent in the March quarter.

CORPORATES
AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS