Tax cuts necessary if Shorten won: PBO

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 20-Jun-19

The Parliamentary Budget Office’s review of federal election commitments shows that Labor’s policies would have cost about $17.3bn. In contrast, the Coalition’s election promises would have cost just $100m, as most of its spending commitments were outlined in the Budget prior to the election. The review also suggests that a Labor government would have had to cut income taxes by about $210bn over the next decade to avoid breaching its target of maintaining a tax-to-GDP ratio of 24.3 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, CENTRE ALLIANCE, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

States climb $180bn debt mountain

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 19-Jun-19

The combined net debt of Australia’s state and territory governments is set to exceed $184bn over the next four years, compared with just $81bn in 2018-19. Increased investment in infrastructure will be a key contributor to the debt blowout, and Robert Carling of the Centre for Independent Studies stresses the need for such projects to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. He adds that New South Wales and Victoria could potentially be at risk of losing their AAA credit ratings if their net debt continues to rise, although he says this is unlikely in the near-term.

CORPORATES
THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

ABC staff told to brace for cuts

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 7 : 21-May-19

ABC MD David Anderson has warned the public broadcaster’s employees that it will need to reduce costs by $14.6m in 2019-20 after the federal government failed to reverse its funding freeze in the April 2019 Budget. Anderson has reiterated that investing in content must be the ABC’s priority; he had previously indicated that jobs and services would need to be cut if the funding freeze remained in place. Labor had committed to scrapping the freeze if it won the federal election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

ABC boss busy playing politics

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 4 : 8-May-19

The ABC’s MD David Anderson recently rejected claims of political bias at the public broadcaster. However, former chairman Maurice Newman says it was inappropriate for Anderson to use his first interview in his new role to suggest that if electors care for the ABC, they should not vote for the Coalition on 18 May. Anderson warned that the ABC will need to reduce its services due to the funding freeze in the May 2019 Budget.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

No end to Labor’s $60 billion spendathon

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-May-19

Labor has made spending commitments in excess of $60 billion during the federal election campaign, according to a newspaper analysis of its spending announcements. Labor’s spending promises include $22 billion for infrastructure projects and community facilities, and $16.2 billion for climate change and energy. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the treasurers’ debate on 6 May that taxpayers would be the ones paying for Labor’s higher spending, while Labor will need to convince the Senate to pass the tax measures that it will need to implement in order to pay for its spending.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

New ABC boss warns job cuts inevitable

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-May-19

The ABC’s MD David Anderson says the public broadcaster will need to retrench workers and reduce its services due to the Coalition’s funding freeze. He adds that cost efficiencies will be necessary even if the three-year freeze were to be scrapped. Anderson was recently confirmed as the permanent successor to former MD Michelle Guthrie. He had been acting MD since her sacking. Meanwhile, Anderson rejects suggestions of bias at the ABC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Free blood tests: Labor raises health pressure

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 : 16-Apr-19

Healthcare is set to continue to dominate the federal election campaign, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to announce an expansion of Labor’s cancer care package on 16 April. Shorten will commit to providing free blood tests for cancer patients and older Australians, at a cost of $200m. This is in addition to Labor’s previously-announced $2.3bn cancer treatment plan. Meanwhile, Labor has rejected suggestions of a $5.8bn funding shortfall for its cancer policy, stating that the Health Department has advised that it has not costed the policy.

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

Tax cut plan needs $40b off spending

Original article by John Kehoe, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 16-Apr-19

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is confident that the Coalition can reduce government spending to about 23.6 per cent of GDP over the next decade, as outlined in the April 2019 Budget. Danielle Wood of the Grattan Institute warns that this would require spending to be cut by $40bn a year in order to finance tax cuts and retain a surplus. Meanwhile, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has described the second and third stages of the government’s tax cuts package as "utterly unsustainable, unaffordable and irresponsible". Labor supports the first stage of the tax cuts, and Bowen says further cuts will be considered in the context of each Budget.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Cancer doctors: Labor plan won’t cure system

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Sean Parnell
The Australian – Page: 1 & 7 : 9-Apr-19

Reaction to Labor’s $2.3 billion cancer treatment plan has been somewhat mixed. Its announcement has been welcomed by the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Radiologists and the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association. However, Ben Brady of the Private Cancer Physicians of Australia says his organisation rejects compulsory bulk-billing. Brady, who is also the director of haematology and medical oncology at Cabrini Health in Melbourne, adds that it is somewhat "un-Australian" to focus on just one disease.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGISTS, AUSTRALIAN DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING ASSOCIATION, PRIVATE CANCER PHYSICIANS OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, CABRINI HEALTH

Per capita health spend is falling, says academic

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 5-Apr-19

Analysis of the April 2019 Budget papers by the Centre for the Health Economy shows that the federal government’s per capita spending on healthcare will rise by just 1.5 per cent in 2019-20. This compares with growth of 6.7 per cent in 2016-17. Per capita spending will grow by just 0.4 per cent between 2019-20 and 2022-23 when population growth is taken into account. Centre for the Health Economy director Henry Cutler adds that ending the freeze on Medicare rebates may not result in lower co-payments for visiting a GP.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY. CENTRE FOR THE HEALTH ECONOMY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH