Twenty years on, burning platform is here for GST reform: Ken Henry

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 29-Jun-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has called for an overhaul of Australia’s tax system in response to the coronavirus-induced recession. Henry was a top tax adviser to the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax. Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s tax system has become increasingly complex since the GST was introduced two decades ago, arguing that it needs to be simplified. He concedes that the GST base should have been broader with fewer exemptions; however, he is cautious about expanding it now, arguing that ‘populist politics’ in the Senate could result in even more exemptions than at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

JobKeeper cash needed for schools and hospitals

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 2 : 16-Jun-20

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert has urged the federal government to retain the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme until at least the end of 2020. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued that retaining coronavirus stimulus measures beyond the scheduled expiration date of late September would result in less funding for essential services such as health and education. The government may introduce stimulus measures that target sectors which have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Near $1bn boost for building kicks off targeted stimulus

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jun-20

The federal government is expected to release details of its coronavirus stimulus package for the construction industry on 4 June. It is tipped to include cash grants of between $20,000 and $50,000 for people buying a new home, in order to avert a decline in construction activity towards the end of 2020. The government is also expected to provide cash grants for home renovations. A stimulus package for the arts and entertainment is also said to be on the government’s agenda.

CORPORATES

Lowe urges paying subsidies for longer

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-May-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has reiterated that the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme and the doubling of the JobSeeker allowance are temporary and targeted measures. However, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has told a Senate committee hearing that there may be a case for extending some of the coronavirus stimulus measures; he has warned that withdrawing the fiscal stimulus too soon could hinder the economy’s recovery from the pandemic. Lowe also said that recent economic data suggests that the downturn may not be as severe as had been forecast.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

PM touts a new era of state unity

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 26-May-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use a National Press Club speech on 26 May to outline the key principles of the federal government’s JobMaker economic plan for the post-coronavirus environment. Amongst other things, Morrison will call for greater co-operation between unions and business as part of a push to overhaul the industrial relations system. He will also stress the need for changes to the jobs training sector, arguing that the current system for allocating skills funding to the states and territories is not working.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

JobKeeper gaffe bonus to help rein in debt

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-May-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison concedes that responsibility for the massive over-estimate of the cost of JobKeeper ultimately rests with him. The wage subsidy scheme is now expected to cost about $70bn rather than the $130bn that had been budgeted, after it was revealed that about 1,000 businesses had mistakenly entered the amount of money they expected to receive under the scheme rather than the number of eligible employees. Morrison says the revised cost of JobKeeper will reduce government borrowings, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has ruled out broadening the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Cut tax to spark mining boom

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-May-20

The Minerals Council of Australia has urged the federal government to reduce the company tax rate as part of its post-coronavirus economic strategy. MCA CEO Tania Constable says the nation’s corporate tax rate is not internationally competitive, and measures such as tax reform and speeding up project approvals could prompt a new wave of resources projects worth around $100bn. Master Builders Australia has in turn called for a $13.2bn stimulus package for the construction industry. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver an economic recovery speech on 26 May.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Coalition eyes Australian economic sovereignty with boost to manufacturing

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 20-May-20

Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews will use a National Press Club speech on 20 May to call for Australia to ramp up local manufacturing in the post-coronavirus environment. She will argue that factors such as domestic manufacturing, a lower company tax rate and an increase in natural gas supply are crucial to the nation’s economic sovereignty. Andrews will also emphasis the need for projects to be approved more quickly.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Cheap gas to power recovery

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 20-May-20

Ensuring that the east coast has access to affordable gas will be part of the federal government’s strategy to boost the economy in the wake of the pandemic. The National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission is looking at a range of options for reducing the domestic price of gas; chairman Nev Power says these could include building a pipeline from Western Australia’s offshore gas fields to Moomba in South Australia. He adds that another option could be to relocate energy-intensive manufacturing to WA, where gas prices are lower due to a domestic gas reserve.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL COVID-19 COORDINATION COMMISSION

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.

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AUSTRALIAN GREENS