Big business, blazes put heat on surplus

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 21-Jan-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stressed that it is too soon to estimate the likely impact of the bushfires crisis on the economy and the federal government’s projected Budget surplus for 2019-20. He is believed to be considering whether to include new tax incentives for the business sector in the May Budget. However, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the government should introduce an investment allowance immediately in order to stimulate the economy. The Business Council of Australia also recently called for a new investment allowance.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Recovery funds to hit budget

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Rosie Lewis, Patrick Commins, Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jan-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that the Budget bottom line will be impacted by the federal government’s disaster relief measures. However, Morrison has stressed that his priority is to provide bushfire victims with the support they need, now and over the next several years. The government has announced an initial $100m funding package to support farmers, fishers and foresters who have been affected by the bushfires. Details of a $50m funding package for charities and financial counsellors to assist bushfire victims will be announced on 15 January.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Business to PM: Get economy moving

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 20-Dec-19

The Business Council of Australia has called on the federal government to maintain its surplus goal as part of its Budget submission. The BCA has urged the government to help stimulate the economy through the adoption of an investment allowance, reducing red tape for infrastructure projects, and by making structural changes to the tax system over the longer-term. The BCA’s submission also calls for measures to boost workers’ skills, along with a new industry policy.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL

Fast-tracked income tax cuts unlikely

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 18-Dec-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has not ruled out bringing forward the next stage of the federal government’s income tax cuts package, which is due to take effect in mid-2022. However, sources have indicated that this is unlikely given the reduction in projected Budget surpluses over the next four years. Meanwhile, Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics argues that bringing forward the second stage of the tax cuts to 2020-21 would require the iron ore price to remain about $US15 per tonne higher throughout that financial year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

Surplus to survive $30bn blow

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 16-Dec-19

The federal government’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook is forecast to confirm that the Budget will remain in surplus for the next four years. However, government revenue is expected to be up to $30bn lower than projected in the 2019 Budget, due to expectations that global and domestic economic growth will be lower than was forecast in April. Growth in wages is also expected to be lower than was forecast in the Budget. Meanwhile, the government is expected to maintain its forecast that the price of iron ore will average $US55 a tonne in 2019-20, even though it is significantly higher at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Slide in wages could risk tax cuts, surplus

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 10-Dec-19

The Wage Price Index growth rate for 2019-20 is forecast to be 2.75 per cent, but wages increased by just 2.2 per cent in the September quarter. Westpac economist Bill Evans expects the federal government to downgrade its wage growth forecast in the mid-year budget update; he warns that this in turn may affect the size of the surplus and the Coalition’s ability to bring forward the second stage of its income tax cuts package. Evans notes that the price of iron ore is trading well above the government’s forecasts, which will help offset any revenue shortfall from slowing wages growth.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Treasurer warns of ageing bill

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 19-Nov-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will use a speech on 19 November to defend the federal government’s commitment to keeping the Budget in surplus. He will tell the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that a balanced Budget will enable the government to begin paying down debt, respond to disasters and address the long-term needs of an ageing nation. Frydenberg will emphasise the importance of population, participation and productivity in addressing the latter issue, noting that action is needed to boost productivity in particular.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

After decade of deficits, budget ‘back to balance’, says Frydenberg

Original article by Adam Creighton, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 20-Sep-19

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled a budget deficit of $700 million for the 2018-19 financial year on 19 September. Frydenberg noted that the federal government had kept spending under the long-run average of 24.7 per cent of GDP for the second year running, while he said the creation of 300,000 jobs in 2018-19 had meant increased tax collections and reduced welfare expenses. The $700 million deficit was a $14 billion improvement on what had been predicted in May 2018, while a budget surplus is likely for 2019-20 if high commodity prices and strong employment growth continue to boost the government’s tax coffers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Treasurer in bid to allay surplus fears

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 8-Aug-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has downplayed concerns about the US-China trade war, stressing that it will not affect the federal government’s timetable for returning the Budget to surplus. Frydenberg has acknowledged that financial market volatility following China’s move to devalue the yuan was a concern, but he has cautioned against an overreaction. Labor has urged the government to bring forward income tax cuts and infrastructure spending in order to stimulate the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Costello’s warning to retirees

Original article by Greg Brown, Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Aug-19

Future Fund chairman Peter Costello has urged the US and China to "sensibly negotiate" a resolution to their ongoing trade dispute in the wake of a global financial rout. The Australian sharemarket has shed $86bn in the last two trading sessions, following China’s move to devalue its currency; Costello has warned that Australians’ savings and the federal Budget will be impacted if the trade dispute is not resolved. However, he says it is important to not "overhype" the recent market slump.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, CITIGROUP INCORPORATED, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG