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Forget JobKeeper — what the government and the country need now is a JabMaker plan


It might be “comfortably below” the Coalition’s 6% threshold for commencing “fiscal repair” (another term for unpopular spending cuts), but the government is under unforeseen political pressure and is anything but relaxed and comfortable.
In any event, this 5.6% figure was from March, which is an important detail because it predated the wind-up of the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
Who knows what that means.
It could mean nothing much or we might see an uptick in jobs lost — employees shed from debt-addled “zombie” firms, which survived the crisis only to perish in the recovery.
At $90-plus billion, the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme was the biggest single program in Australian history. And by any metric, it was a shining success. Any metric that is, if you exclude the country’s fourth biggest pre-pandemic export sector, education.

HomeBuilder extension announced

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HomeBuilder extension announced
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One of the government’s most successful schemes, HomeBuilder, has been extended, bringing the total level of expected government support for the construction sector to $2.5 billion.
The federal government has extended the construction commencement requirement under its HomeBuilder scheme, meaning existing applicants will have an additional 12 months to commence their build.
More than 121,000 Aussies that applied for the grant, which is expected to support around $30 billion of residential construction projects, now have 18 months to start construction from the date that the building contract was signed.
All applicants who signed contracts during the HomeBuilder eligibility period between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021 will have this extension applied to them.    

How women can close the huge superannuation gap that harms their retirement - and bag an extra $500

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Australian women are being urged to tip more of their savings into super to get a $500 top-up from the government so they aren't poor at retirement.
Women continue to have much less saved up than men, with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency putting the super gender gap at 21.6 per cent by the time they are in their sixties.
Across all age groups, women last year had average superannuation balances of $131,500, a figure that was 30 per cent or $39,100 less than the equivalent retirement savings of $170,600 for men. 
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 Australian women are being urged to tip more of their savings into super to get a $500 top-up from the government so they aren't poor at retirement. Women continue to have much less saved up than men, with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency putting the super gender gap at 21.6 per cent by the time they are in their sixties

HomeBuilder Construction Deadline Extended by 12 Months

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HomeBuilder Construction Deadline Extended by 12 Months
Existing applicants for HomeBuilder are being given an extra 12 months to commence construction as new home building has reached its highest levels in 21 years.
On April 17, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Housing Minister Michael Sukkar announced an extension of the construction commencement requirement for the HomeBuilder scheme from six to 18 months, meaning builders will have until Sept. 2022 to begin work.
Introduced in June 2020 as part of the national economic recovery plan, HomeBuilder offered up to $25,000 (US$19,500) in grants for new home constructions or major renovations.
The government said over 121,000 Australians have applied for the grant, which is expected to cost the government $2.5 billion (US$1.95 billion) and create a total of $30 billion in building activity.

Will Frydenberg play Scrooge on tax cuts?

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Switzer Daily
19 April 2021
There’s
less than a month before the May Budget and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has to
work out whether he wants to play Santa Claus and give out tax cuts or will he
go Scrooge?
It
comes as the political popularity of the Government and the Prime Minister is
on the skids, following the vaccination rollout problems, the handling of the
sexual behaviour of staffers in Parliament House and the Christine Holgate
Cartier watches affair.
In
case you missed it, on a two-party preferred basis, Labor is now at 52% and the
Government is at 48%.
Happily
for the PM, Scott Morrison is still seen as a better Prime Minister but look at

No federal budget tax cuts to force hip pocket hit for 10 million workers

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The Morrison government and the opposition will have to promise tens of billions of dollars’ worth of personal income tax cuts to 10 million workers on low and middle incomes — many of them women — or risk slowing Australia’s recovery from the pandemic.
Analysis for
The Age and
The Sydney Morning Herald shows people earning less than $126,000 a year face a tax hike from next financial year.
Without any change, about 3.4 million people will be $1080 a year worse off while another 7 million will have less take-home pay, according to the analysis by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Research Centre.
Josh Frydenberg hands down the 2020-21 budget which contained a one year extension of the low and middle income tax offset. The offset ends in 2021-22.

ANZ bank to close 15 more branches in nsw, vic, WA


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ANZ bank to close 15 more branches in nsw, vic, WA
The ANZ Bank’s decision to shut down 15 more branches in regional Australia means it wins first prize for turning its back on the community.
Since January 2020, the ANZ has announced the closure of 146 branches.
The latest to close: NSW – Forster, Cooma, Ulladulla, Salamander Bay, Casino, Cowra, Cootamundra, Leeton, Kempsey. VIC – Bacchus Marsh, Lakes Entrance. WA – Wongan Hills, Bassendean, Baldivis, Beverley. Each of these branches will be shut down by October, 2021.
Finance Sector Union (FSU) National secretary Julia Angrisano said banking was an essential service and branches should be maintained as important part of our regional economy.

Future Covid lockdowns could destroy Australia's economy and job market


Scott Morrison has warned any further restrictions to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia will not be good for either the economy or jobs.
The prime minister met with state premiers on Monday to get Australia's derailed vaccination program back on track, while looking at ways to open up international borders, albeit further down the track.
'We can't get ahead of ourselves here ... the thing we need to be very clear about is the pandemic is raging globally,' Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned of greater risks to economy and jobs if further Covid lockdowns are imposed  (Pictured: People in Melbourne during the height of the pandemic in July 2020)

Low and Middle Income Tax Offset to Be Removed in June, Potentially Impacting Millions

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Low and Middle Income Tax Offset to Be Removed in June, Potentially Impacting Millions
An estimated 3.4 million Australians with a taxable income between $48,000 and $90,000 will be affected as the low and middle-income tax offset (LMITO), worth $1080, finishes at the end of this financial year, says the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre.
Originally part of stage 1 of the Coalition government’s Personal Income Tax Plan, the LMITO was introduced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget to reduce tax burdens for Australians with low and middle taxable income.
At the time of its introduction, the government estimated that the scheme would help around 4.5 million Australian taxpayers who are eligible for the full LMITO of $1,080 and 5.6 million eligible for a partial LMITO.

ANZ staff lose redundancy guarantee ahead of branch cuts


ANZ staff lose redundancy guarantee ahead of branch cuts
ANZ staff lose redundancy guarantee ahead of branch cuts
20 April 2021 4:15AM
ANZ has promised to redeploy around fifty staff affected by its latest round of branch closures across the country.
The bank confirmed on Monday that it plans to withdraw another 15 branches this year in regional parts of NSW, Victoria and Western Australia as it accelerates the cull of over-the-counter customer services.
In the last 15 months the bank has shuttered 143 outlets.
ANZ’s head of retail Katherine Bray said staff were notified of the branch closures late last week.
“We announced the closures to employees last week and we will seek to retain as many of them as we can, particularly with increased demands on other areas of the bank that could benefit from their skills and experience,” she said.

'Very big package': $10 billion aged care boost at heart of federal budget

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‘Very big package’: $10 billion aged care boost at heart of federal budget
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The Morrison government will promise at least $10 billion over four years for aged care in the May federal budget, including allowing more people to stay in their own homes for longer.
When the final report of the aged care royal commission report was released last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government’s response would be at the heart of the budget.
Health Minister Greg Hunt, Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety final report.

Andrew Peacock left an 'indelible mark' on Australia's political scene: Frydenberg

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Andrew Peacock left an ‘indelible mark’ on Australia’s political scene: Frydenberg18/04/2021|12min
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock left an “indelible mark” on the Australian political scene.
Andrew Peacock passed away last Friday night at his home in the US, aged 82.
“Andrew Peacock was a great Australian and of course a great Liberal,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News host Sharri Markson.
“I think it’s in the area of foreign affairs … Andrew made his most significant achievements, and that included helping pave the path to independence for Papua New Guinea”.
“I was very fortunate to know him, and know him well.”

John Wylie turns page on State Library of Victoria

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John Wylie turns page on State Library of Victoria
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In November
John Wylie left the Australian Sports Commission after eight years as a reforming chair of the body rebranded as Sport Australia. Now another prestigious post is drawing to a close. Wylie is soon to depart as chair of the State Library of Victoria, Australia’s oldest and busiest public library.
So what’s next? His departure after a statutory two terms will no doubt renew the speculation that the businessman could take over the Collingwood presidency from the fallen

Ten million face hip pocket hit without budget tax cut

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Ten million face hip pocket hit without budget tax cut
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The Morrison government and the opposition will have to promise tens of billions of dollars’ worth of personal income tax cuts to 10 million workers on low and middle incomes — many of them women — or risk slowing Australia’s recovery from the pandemic.
Analysis for
The Age and
The Sydney Morning Herald shows people earning less than $126,000 a year face a tax hike from next financial year.
Without any change, about 3.4 million people will be $1080 a year worse off while another 7 million will have less take-home pay, according to the analysis by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Research Centre.

Ten million Australians earning under $126,000 will take home less pay from next financial year

Last year, the government extended the and middle income tax offset program for Australians earning up to $126,000 as the Covid shutdowns caused the steepest downturn since the Great Depression.

Government throws a lifeline to HomeBuilder hopefuls

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The federal government has thrown a lifeline to thousands of people struggling to qualify for the $15,000 HomeBuilder grant by giving them an extra year to start building.
Applications for the grant closed on Wednesday, but many applicants were facing an uphill battle to meet the final qualification - that construction begin within six months - because of a shortage of builders and building supplies.
The announcement that time frame will be changed to 18 months will be made today by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Housing Minister Michael Sukkar. It comes ahead of the May Budget, which Mr Frydenberg says will be focused on aged care.

Gladys Berejiklian pays tribute to former Liberal opposition leader Andrew Peacock who died aged 82

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Gladys Berejiklian has paid tribute to former Liberal opposition leader Andrew Peacock who died at his home in the US at the age of 82.  
His daughter Ann Peacock confirmed the death on Friday evening in a moving tribute to her 'beautiful, loving, most caring, thoughtful, generous and brilliant father.'
'You will be so greatly missed, your guidance and deep love for us will live in my heart, we are absolutely devastated,' she said. 
The New South Wales Premier joined a long list of politicians honouring Mr Peacock's life and time in parliament.
'We remember his years of dedicated service to the people of Australia and to the Liberal Party. Heartfelt condolences to his loved ones,' she said.

Former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock remembered as 'great Australian' with lasting legacy

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Former Liberal Party leader Andrew Peacock has been remembered as a "great Australian" who has left an "indelible mark" on the country.
Key points:
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says Australia has lost one of its greats
Mr Peacock is being remembered for his impact on Australia's foreign policy and international relations
People from all sides of politics have paid tribute to Mr Peacock, who they say took people on their merits
Tributes have flowed from all sides of politics since news of his death at the age of 82 on Friday evening.
"Andrew was a hugely significant figure in Australian politics of the 70s and 80s, and played a dominant role in the development of the Liberal Party," former prime minister John Howard said.

'A treasure of the Liberal Party': Tributes flow for former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock

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Mr Peacock served as foreign minister from 1975 to 1980 under Malcolm Fraser and as leader of the Liberal party he was defeated by Bob Hawke in the 1984 and 1990 elections.

HomeBuilder extended to support more jobs

The Morrison Government is extending the construction commencement requirement for the successful HomeBuilder program from six months to 18 months for...

'And then Andrew Peacock arrived': Tributes for the colt of Kooyong and a life lived to the full

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‘And then Andrew Peacock arrived’: Tributes for the colt of Kooyong and a life lived to the full
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It was a Saturday morning in the early ’90s and future Victorian premier Ted Baillieu was presenting to a room of federal politicians collectively dressed in sweaters and jeans on the “most dour” topic of seat redistribution.
“And then Andrew Peacock arrived.”
The debonair ‘colt of Kooyong’ wore an immaculate suit with silk shirt and tie, Mr Baillieu recalled. He carried an umbrella and hat, and an overcoat was draped across his forearm.

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