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Is the diesel rebate really a subsidy?

February 17, 2014 - 14:06 -- Admin

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, I wrote an article questioning whether the Government should abolish the diesel fuel rebate, arguing that it seemed at odds for a Government that has taken a hard line on subsidies, corporate welfare and the end of the age of entitlement. To recap, the diesel rebate, which allows [...]

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Branson slams Qantas bailout

February 17, 2014 - 14:02 -- Admin

From Crikey: In his full-page ad campaign against any deal, Sir Richard Branson didn’t highlight debt refinancing, almost certainly because he would see it as something wicked best left unsaid. Qantas could (and indeed would be out of its mind not to) use a government debt guarantee to newly refinance as much existing or expiring [...]

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AGL applies for huge gas price increase

February 17, 2014 - 13:34 -- Admin

From the SMH: The largest gas supplier in NSW, AGL, has applied for a hike in the regulated gas tariff that could see average household bills hit as much as $1136 a year. AGL applied for the 20.3 per cent hike citing surging wholesale prices due to the planned export of large volumes of gas [...]

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Rupert punches hole in budget

February 17, 2014 - 13:00 -- Admin

From the SMH blog: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has blown an $880 million hole in the federal budget after winning a long-running battle with the Tax Office over deductions. The ATO had refused to allow the deduction, which relates to a 1989 restructure within Mr Murdoch’s media empire in which no money changed hands. News Corp defeated [...]

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New car sales fall sharply in January

February 17, 2014 - 12:43 -- Admin

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released new motor vehicle sales for the month of January, which registered a 3.5% seasonally adjusted fall over the month and a 3.0% decrease over the year (see next table). As shown above, sales fell in every state and territory, with Western Australia [...]

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Earnings season tracking well

February 17, 2014 - 12:24 -- Admin

Earnings season is tracking in line with expectations, says Mac Bank: We analyse the Dec HY13/1H14 Australian profit reporting season to date with 41 companies having reported profit results by COB 13 Feb, representing 17% of companies to report by number (35% by market cap). Macquarie’s aggregated All Companies FY14 EPSg (Jun pro-rated) forecast lifted [...]

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Rio slowing Pilbara ramp up?

February 17, 2014 - 12:18 -- Admin

From Mac bank today: In Rio Tinto’s 2013 financial results on Thursday, perhaps the biggest surprise was the lower than expected iron ore guidance for 2014 of 295mt (100% basis, including contribution from IOC). This was well below consensus expectations, and does imply a slower than expected ramp-up in the Pilbara expansion. We had already [...]

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Can’t bail cars but gunna save tanks, mates!

February 17, 2014 - 11:16 -- Admin

By Leith van Onselen While the Abbott Government talks tough on welfare and entitlements, it continues to take contradictory positions that risk undermining its legitimacy. In addition to providing taxpayer support to Qantas and Tasmanian firms Huon and Cadbury, the Coalition has reportedly ear-marked tens-of-billions of taxpayer dollars to local defence manufacturing, when high quality [...]

S&P thanks AAA tax-payer for supporting banks

February 17, 2014 - 10:41 -- Admin

The nation’s media is busy celebrating today because Australia’s major banks are seen to be of top five quality worldwide by S&P. Here is the chart causing the celebration: Nice! But, as always, the message coming from the credit ratings agency was a little less glowing under the surface and and here it is: Sovereign credit-worthiness [...]

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