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Costello changes tune on GST rate
Peter Costello appears to have had a change of heart about raising the GST rate. "The trouble with the idea we can tax the budget back into balance by soaking the rich is there just aren't enough rich to go around," Mr Costello wrote in News Corp newspapers on Tuesday.
Qld govt unsure about power bills
The Palaszczuk government is reluctant to say what effect its decision to defer electricity price deregulation will have on power bills in southeast Queensland. Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the 12-month deferment in the state's southeast, announced on Tuesday, would give a soon-to-be-established Queensland Productivity Commission the chance to hold a public inquiry into power prices. "It just makes sense to defer electricity deregulation for 12 months to make sure we get it right," Mr Bailey said. Mr Pitt said he was confident consumers wouldn't see the "double digit" price increases of the past few years under the Liberal National Party government, but couldn't say exactly what would happen to power bills.
Blackmores forecasting record profit
Vitamin and supplements maker Blackmores is forecasting a record full year profit, with strong sales in Asia. The company made a net profit of $12.2 million during the March quarter, up 125 per cent from the same period in 2014. Chief executive Christine Holgate said a vibrant presence in Asia and a strong consumer base in Australia would ensure a record full year profit. "This success confirms the board's confidence in our business strategy and shareholders can expect the current year to date growth to continue and deliver a record full year profit for the Blackmores Group," she said.
Why McDonald's is still a powerhouse
McDonald's sales have been sputtering for more than two years and the company seems trapped in a cycle of bad headlines that likely won't end soon. McDonald's has many strengths that the rivals biting at its heels can only envy, including Ronald McDonald's worldwide recognition. Here are six reasons why McDonald's is nowhere close to death's door for now. McDonald's has more than 14,300 locations in the US and that ubiquity continues to make it a default option for many.
Property, budget lifts consumer confidence
Consumer confidence rebounded last week largely due to continued strength in the housing market and optimism about the upcoming federal budget. Confidence rose 2.8 per cent in the week ending April 26, making up most of the ground lost by falls during the previous three weeks, ANZ/Roy Morgan's consumer confidence barometer found. Despite the pick up last week, the survey indicated confidence remained below average and was trending down, ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said on Tuesday.
Virgin Aust's new woman chair a 'positive
Virgin Australia's appointment of leading businesswoman Elizabeth Bryan as the airline's next chairman has been welcomed as positive move by a group representing women on boards. Virgin announced on Tuesday that Ms Bryan would replace Neil Chatfield as chairman, a position Mr Chatfield has held since June 2007. Ms Bryan, who is also the chairman at Caltex Australia and UniSuper, is not currently on Virgin's board. Her previous roles include chief executive of Deutsche Asset Management Australia and its predecessor, the State Super Investment and Management Corporation.
Card surcharges necessary, RBA says
The head of the Reserve Bank has defended credit card surcharges as helping to keep the price of goods and services down, but says review is needed. While surcharging tends to be a "hot button issue" with consumers, the RBA considers its decision to allow surcharging in 2002 to have been a valuable reform, governor Glenn Stevens says. "Our current review will consider ways we can retain the considerable benefits of allowing merchants to surcharge, while addressing concerns about excessive surcharges," Mr Stevens said.
Future Fund grows to $117 billion
The Future Fund has almost doubled since it was established in 2006. The fund, which aims to cover superannuation liabilities of federal public servants, stood at $117 billion at the end of March after generating a return of 15.1 per cent in the first nine months of the 2014/15 financial year.
Retirees 'much worse' off: RBA
Life is not going to get easier for self-funded retirees as record low interest rates force them to take on riskier investments, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says. Central banks around the world have lowered their interest rates to stimulate their economies, causing yields on safe investments such as term deposits to fall. Mr Stevens said yields on investments were the "lowest ever in human history", adding that he believed it would take a while for interest rates to recover to pre-GFC levels.
Share market retreats at sign of 6,000
The share market is weaker, with traders continuing a trend of recent weeks of retreating when it gets close to the 6,000 point mark. The market has not hit the elusive 6000 point level for more than seven ...
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