May 14, 2014 – 7:40AM
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has sweated his way through his first post-Budget interview.
An unusually subdued Mr Hockey faced the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson on 7.30 just moments after his Budget speech.
Joe Hockey faces Sarah Ferguson on Budget night.
Ms Ferguson gave him no reprieve, firing the first shot with her opening question: ‘‘Is it liberating for a politician to decide election promises don’t matter?’’
As he sat still and hunched in the opposite chair, hands clasped awkwardly between his legs, Mr Hockey refused to ‘‘accept the question’’.
But the Treasurer soon freed his hands to gesticulate as he set about defending his government’s first budget. A budget that included some controversial measures like the new Medicare co-payment.
‘‘What we’re doing is good policy,’’ he said, licking his lips.
But Ms Ferguson was relentless, orchestrating this abrasive exchange:
Hockey: ‘‘There are only two tax adjustments.’’
Ferguson: ‘‘Is that what we’re going to call them now?’’
Hockey: ‘‘Of any substance, any tax changes, if you like, or whatever you’d like to call it.’’
Ferguson: ‘‘New taxes.’’
Hockey: ‘‘There’s two. There’s actually fewer than any of the previous Budgets from the previous government.’’
Ferguson: ‘‘They’re still taxes. I don’t need to teach you, Treasurer, what a tax is.’’
Mr Hockey then wiped his nose and brow of what looked like sweat, as Ms Ferguson grilled him on the government’s decison to cut $80 billion from schools and hospitals over ten years.
“Are you starving the states so they beg you, effectively, to raise the GST?” she asked.
“That’s up to them, they are responsible for schools and hospitals.”
It might just have been an off night for the Treasurer. His speech in Parliament was similarly lacklustre and there was more lip-licking and more husky-voiced assertions in a performance that fell short of his typically confident appearances in Question Time.
But at least Mr Abbott appeared to enjoy Mr Hockey’s Budget speech, offering a smirk while Ian Mcfarlane grinned beside him.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald
Estreado na última sexta-feira (09), o programa de namoros “Me Leva Contigo“, apresentado Rafael Cortez, vai virar o centro de uma nova rusga entre Record e o Ibope.
Segundo o jornal “Folha de S.Paulo”, a emissora irá questionar o instituto medidor de audiência no Brasil, para saber se houve algum problema nos números em tempo real da Grande SP.
É que, segundo números prévios, o programa de Rafael Cortez marcou 6,7 pontos de média, contra 6,6 do SBT, que exibiu parte do “Programa do Ratinho” e a “Tela de Sucessos” no horário.
Já quando os números consolidados saíram, uma surpresa: a Record deu 7,0 pontos de Ibope no horário, enquanto o SBT subiu de 6,6 para 8,0 pontos, um aumento de 21%, que revoltou os diretores do canal.
A Record fará uma reclamação formal, por meio de um requerimento.
Esta não é a primeira vez que um canal tem problemas com o instituto medidor de audiência. No mêspassado, o SBT sofreu no seu dia mais importante: os domingos. Por cerca de 24 horas, o peoplemeter teve problemas no envio de dados e a emissora de Silvio Santos teve seus índices em tempo real prejudicados.
Quando divulgados os consolidados, o instituto pediu desculpas para o canal pelos serviços prejudicados e disse que foi um problema pontual.
No dia do aniversário do seu maior rival, o Bahia usou a ironia para lembrar a data. O Tricolordivulgou, por meio de suas redes sociais, uma imagem na qual parabeniza um dos clubes aniversariantes desta terça-feira. No entanto, diferente do que se imaginava, a homenagem é para o Sport Recife, também aniversariante desta terça, e não para o Vitória, maior rival e conterrâneo do Bahia.
– Hoje, 13 de Maio, é aniversário do clube que, depois do Bahia, melhor representa o futebol nordestino Brasil afora. Um grande rival. Parabéns, Sport Club do Recife – diz a mensagem tricolor.
GLOBO ESPORTE .COM
O Atlético-MG pode estar mal das pernas coletivamente, mas individualmente, seus jogadores estão se destacando. Prova disso é a convocação em massa de 5 jogadores atleticanos para o Mundial: Anelka, pela França; Quermes Raça e Otamendi, pela Argentina; Jô e Victor, pelo Brasil. Segundo o presidente do clube, Alexandre “é do Galo” Kalil, as convocações fazem parte de um projeto de internacionalização da marca do clube.
“Nós temos um projeto ambicioso de marketing que passa por essas convocações. O Atlético-MG quer deixar de ser conhecido na Europaapenas como time do Ronaldinho e isso já está mudando. Na França, é conhecido como o time do Anelka, na Argentina, como time do Otamendi e do Quermes Raça e no Marrocos como o time que perdeu do Raja. Acredito que até que daqui a uns 100 anos consiga andar com as próprias pernas e seja reconhecido pelo seu próprio nome”, comemorou Kalil.
As convocações de atleticanos não param por aí. Ronaldinho Gaúcho também deve jogar o Mundial… de Show Ball, que ocorre em setembro.
Uma tragédia ocorreu na tarde desta terça-feira. O goleiro do Cruzeiro, Fábio de Costas, ficou de fora da lista de suplentes de Felipão e deu adeus às chances de defender o Brasil na Copa do Mundo 2014. Contudo, ao invés de chorar e reclamar da vida, Fábio de Costas foi à luta e conseguiu achar seu lugar no Mundial: o goleirão defenderá a Costa do Marfim.
Mesmo sem ter atuado na Costa do Marfim e, principalmente, mesmo sem ter ligações diretas com o país, a Fifa já autorizou a participação do goleiro pela seleção marfinense. “A Fifa foi muito bacana comigo, entenderam que é um caso diferente. Pô, eu tenho “Costa” até no nome. É como o Di Maria,que tem Cruzeiro até nome. Isso cria uma identificação muito forte e o povo da Costa do Marfim ficou muito contente com a minha convocação. Recebi muitas mensagens bonitas pelas redes sociais”, disse.
Estreante em Copa, esta será a primeira vez que Fábio irá tirar uma foto de frente. Neste caso, para o álbum de figurinhas da competição.
O Guia Oficial da Copa já foi atualizado com a nova convocação. Confira como ficou a seleção da Costa do Marfim com a presença do arqueiro clicando aqui.
A Argentina divulgou nesta terça-feira a lista de convocados para a Copa do Mundo do Brasil. Na lista, dois nomes bem conhecidos da torcida brasileira se destacam: o atleticano Otamendi e o cruzeirense Di Maria. A dupla foi lembrada por Alejandro Sabella e tentará conquistar o tri para os hermanos. O presidente do Cruzeiro, Gilvan Tavares, comemorou a convocação.
“Estamos muito contentes com a convocação do Di Maria e tenho certeza que ele representará nosso time muito bem no Mundial. Inclusive, enviamos uma camisa do Cruzeiro para o meia utilizar por baixo da camisa da Argentina. Quando fizer um gol, ele erguerá a camisa e o torcedor cruzeirense terá uma bela surpresa”, disse, em tom enigmático.
O Olé do Brasil investigou que tipo de mensagem seria essa e conseguiu descobrir. Na camisa estará escrito: “De Maria para Di Maria”, mostrando o presente que o Cruzeiro deu ao ídolo da torcida.
Como forma de retribuir o presente, o argentino trocará seu nome na camisa: sai Di Maria, entra Di Cruzeiro.
May 13, 2014 – 9:18PM
Big cuts: Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrive to hand down the budget in the House of Representatives. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The Abbott government’s first budget will hit the federal bureaucracy with its biggest staff cut since the 1990s.
A projected 16,500 public servants will be cut nationally in the next three years – a massive 7336 full-time-equivalent civilian government workers in the first year alone – in a budget that leaves Canberra with no financial surprises to inject activity into the ACT economy.
Illustration: David Pope
The three years of cuts would translate to 6500 in the ACT if the reductions were proportional across the public service.
The budget aims to reduce the existing deficit from $49.9 billion to $29.8 billion by next year and then $2.8 billion by 2017-18.
The blunt instrument known as the efficiency dividend will almost double overnight from 1.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent – 0.25 per cent of this increase comes from the Coalition and the rest of the hike is a hangover from Labor – and remain in place for three years.
Treasurer Joe Hockey struck at Canberra more than anywhere else when he pushed his government’s agenda for smaller government by saying he wanted fewer public servants “interfering” in people’s lives.
“We have been at pains to reduce government expenditure without hurting the economy,” Mr Hockey said.
A “smaller, less interfering government won’t need as many public servants” and the 16,500 staff cuts would not compromise public services, he said.
He touted a budget that pledged to reduce Australia’s debt from $667 billion to $389 billion in 10 years, helped in some way by slashing the foreign aid budget to save $7.9 billion over five years.
Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said Mr Hockey’s headline job loss figure was not counting the “massive wave of privatisation it is about to unleash”.
Ms Flood said 16,500 was triple the jobs lost under Labor and it was a joke for the government to blame its predecessor.
“I think our [original] 25,000 figure might look conservative in a few years,” she said.
Canberra’s slim rewards include $26.8 million for relocation and fit-out of the Department of Social Services, which will stay in Tuggeranong – an announcement that will allay fears the large department would move out of the struggling town centre.
Apart from this and $60 million across four years for the Department of Parliamentary Services, there is little good news.
Some ACT pastoral leases are set to be sold as the Commonwealth reduces non-defence land holdings worth $22.5 million nationwide.
The Australian National University will lose $6.4 million as the Commonwealth axes funding for the HC Coombs Policy Forum.
There will be a scoping study on government ownership of assets such as defence housing, the ASIC registry and the Royal Australian Mint in Deakin.
The public service jobs cuts figure of 16,500 is 4500 more than the Abbott government pledged in the lead up to the election and is 2000 on top of the 14,500 the Coalition says Labor was going to cut.
The Australian Taxation Office, which lost 900 people in 2013-14, will be the hardest hit by staff reductions, which will reach 2329 by June 2018.
The ATO loses 2100 jobs in the coming financial year, with the budget bringing some reductions forward, and another 1700 in the following years.
Civilian staff numbers at Defence will be reduced by 1200 and another 300 “service providers” will go by 2017-18 to save $606 million within four years – a much softer approach than what was recommended in the Commission of Audit.
The Bureau of Meteorology receives its own special efficiency dividend, to recover $10 million over four years.
The budget contained no figure for public servant job losses in Canberra, which is home to 39 per cent of the bureaucracy, meaning there would 6500 job cuts if the reductions were proportional. But this will likely be exceeded because redundancies are being targeted at managers, most of whom are located in Canberra.
In line with information put out by the government earlier this week, the government will abolish more than 230 bureaucratic programs and 70 government bodies.
The increased efficiency across the forward projections will save another $590 million and there is no clear answer as to where the dividend affects job losses in the bureaucracy.
– with Markus Mannheim
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald
May 13, 2014 – 9:40PM
Mark Kenny Chief political correspondent
An unprecedented $80 billion cut to health and education spending over the next decade leads a list of tough savings measures affecting age pensioners, seniors concession card holders, family payments and people on the disability support pension in the Abbott government’s first budget.
In a document that lives up to its dire pre-publicity, there were few surprises and little good news other than a new $20 billion medical research fund – to come from a $5 contribution by patients when visiting the doctor. Each visit will cost $7, with the other $2 going to the doctor.
Joe Hockey, right, and Tony Abbott. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The research fund is expected to reach its $20 billion target within six years and will be the largest such fund in the world.
Treasurer Joe Hockey described it as “the budget that gets on with the job“. The harsh formula reveals the government has opted to prioritise its economic management credentials above delivering on its election promise of no new or increased taxes, and no cuts to health and education. In doing so it has made a calculated gamble that Australians will eventually reward it for fixing the balance sheet.
To that end, the savings task has been deliberately constructed to delay much of the pain for later years, when growth is likely to be stronger, and to spread the burden across the board. High income earners are hit with a 2 per cent ”temporary budget repair levy”, as previously reported. That will contribute $3.1 billion in revenue and will run for three years from July 1.
But the real pain in the fiscal repair is to be felt by those with the least to give, and their contribution will be more permanent. This includes age pensioners and those on disability support pensions (DSP), whose meagre incomes will now be indexed at a lower rate – that is, according to the consumer price index, rather than the higher rate of wage inflation. A raft of government payments will also have their eligibility criteria tightened and many will have scheduled indexation of income thresholds paused for either two or three years. Mr Hockey denied the move to put pensions on a lower indexation represented a cut, arguing instead that it simply slowed the rate of growth while maintaining the pension’s purchasing power. Branding the drastic reductions in expenditure as necessary to fix a budget that would otherwise become crippled with $667 billion in debt in a decade, Mr Hockey defended the blueprint as a ”time for all of us to contribute and to build”. He said Australians were a generous people and had always been prepared to “pay it forward“. The budget sets a timeline for reducing the deficit from its present level of $49.9 billion to $17.1billion next financial year, falling to just under $3 billion in the final year of the four-year budget cycle. That assumes some income tax cuts in that period to address bracket creep. It represents a faster path to surplus than previously signalled and raises the possibility of reaching the psychologically – and politically – important balanced budget even earlier than 2018-19. ”The age of entitlement is over,” Mr Hockey said, adding, ”it has to be replaced, not with an age of austerity, but with an age of
.” That message did not lead to the government scrapping Mr Abbott’s signature paid parental leave scheme which, while scaled back to a maximum half-year salary replacement on $100,000, stands out against a budget heavy on cuts and sacrifice especially among the poor. However, in a surprise move, the controversial scheme has not been given a budget line of its own, appearing instead in the contingency reserve fund, fuelling suspicions it may still be altered or dropped. Among the many losers are the public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS. Despite an express promise that they would face no cuts, they will lose $43 million over four years as a ”down payment” on an efficiency study already under way. Australia’s ”soft diplomacy” effort in the region via the Australia Network operated by the ABC will be closed from July 1 for a four-year saving of $198 million. Overseas development aid will also be slashed, netting the budget a saving of $601 million next year, climbing to more than $3.5 billion in 2017-18 – the largest single saving year-on-year in the document. Yet that saving is dwarfed by the longer-term savings to be booked from winding in commonwealth payments to the states for the big ticket services they deliver in health and eduction – in direct breach of a repeated commitment by the then opposition leader Tony Abbott who promised voters no cuts to health and not cuts to education. MAIN POINTS HEALTH $7 co-payment for visits to the GP and some screening services; pharmaceutical prices increased. PENSIONS Pension age lifted to 70 by 2035, pensions – aged and disability support – to be indexed to inflation, rather than wages, from September 2017. UNEMPLOYED ”Earn or learn” policy: unemployed younger than 30 years old will need to wait six months before receiving allowances. HIGHER EDUCATION Funding for courses to be deregulated to include diplomas; universities free to charge for degrees as they please; HECS interest rate lifted. INFRASTRUCTURE $11.6 billion package, with funds for Western Sydney and Melbourne’s East West link. TAX LEVY Taxpayers on a taxable income more than $180,000 will pay extra tax until June 2017; will raise $3.1 billion. FAMILY TAX BENEFIT Part B limited to families with a combined income under $100,000 (down from $150,000), and only until their youngest child turns six. MEDICAL RESEARCH Establish Medical Research Future Fund, planned to reach $20 billion by 2020. THE BIG PICTURE Surpluses projected to build to well over one per cent of GDP by 2024-25.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald
May 14, 2014
This week possibly hundreds of Qantas pilots will be offered redundancy packages as the airline moves to achieve its goal of reducing staff by 1200 by the end of June and a targeted 5000 cull of employees within three years.
The financial trouble enveloping Qantas has resulted in a major downsizing of the company which has included dropping routes and retiring planes as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting a swath through its cost base.
Meanwhile a document leaked to Fairfax Media’s 3AW this week concerning Qantas’ financial predicament suggests that the company is concerned it could be facing a further downgrade on its already junk-rated debt. Additionally the document suggests the sale of part or all of its Frequent Flyer loyalty program has moved up on the airline’s agenda.
The memo, titled ”liquidity challenge”, details how the airline may be forced to sell Frequent Flyers and how to maximise the proceeds and ”how much longer can we defer it”.
It also mentions that a further ratings downgrade could lead to funding being further rationed.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said as recently as last week that asset sales including its loyalty scheme were being considered as part of a program to reduce debt.
Qantas claims it does not believe the document to be internal but it doesn’t rule out the possibility and it is not suggesting the document is a fraud. Rather it appears to be a memo of a meeting with potentially outside advisers.
The author of the memo notes that within Qantas there are a ”jigsaw puzzle of issues” and ponders ”when will management reach a tipping point”.
The memo suggests the company’s burden of debt is too great, which is certainly in keeping with the consensus view of the financial analysts from investment banks that closely follow the company.
Joyce has announced already that he wants to knock $2 billion off the net debt levels which stood at around $3.2 billion at June 2013.
It is understood that pilots will be offered one year’s pay in return for taking the redundancy deal. However, it is not clear how many will be happy to take the offer.
There are many pilots on Qantas’ books who have more than 20 years in the job and probably won’t be satisfied with such a deal.
Qantas would presumably need to move to compulsory redundancies to achieve its targets.
Its highly regarded pilots are among Qantas’ most valuable assets, given the degree of
that has been invested in them. They have clearly contributed to its stellar safety record. But the reality is that in retiring many planes there is a surplus of pilots.
Qantas has been managing excess pilots to date by asking them to whittle down their leave and long service entitlements or take leave without pay. But this has been delaying their stay of execution.
Reducing pilot numbers is an unfortunate consequence of losing market share as a result of being unable to compete with foreign carriers and, plenty would argue, the mistakes of management.
Qantas reported a loss of $250 million for the half to December and could easily match this number in the current six months to June.
It has had its debt credit rating downgraded and only this week raised $300 million in relatively expensive junk bonds to replace some debt that was due for earlier repayment.
While Qantas denies it has a liquidity problem, the reality is that the redundancy costs are an expensive drain on cash and this may curtail its ability to offer redundancy to all the excess pilots initially.
In response to the leaked document, Qantas responded on Tuesday, ”the concept of a liquidity challenge” seems to ignore the $2.4 billion Qantas has in the bank, not to mention a large number of unencumbered assets (ranging from airport terminals to aircraft).
”We have an obligation to keep the market up to date with our position, and we did that as recently as last Thursday.
”No decision has been made on Frequent Flyer, so any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong.”
A recent March investment note from JPMorgan which analysed Qantas’ high cost base sums the situation up.
It notes that ”when the trading environment is robust with passenger revenue yield growth and strong load factors, the cost structure within QAN could be addressed ‘later’ but in the current environment with excess seat capacity both domestically and on its key international routes and yields under pressure, the uncompetitive cost structure of QAN really becomes apparent and a focus.
”Until QAN is able to tackle its costs, it is likely to find it increasingly difficult to achieve satisfactory returns.”
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald