The Economy


Why the Reserve Bank cut its cash rate to an all-time low

Peter Martin 12:06 AM   The last time the Reserve Bank cut interest rates ahead of a budget the man who is now treasurer said this: "Wayne Swan says the economy is doing just fine. If that is the case the Reserve Bank would not be cutting interest rates today."

Andrews commits over $500m for 100,000 new 'high-skill' jobs

The ranks of the ACT public service continued to swell in the past year.

Nassim Khadem 8:00 PM   Victorian businesses and start-ups will get more than half a billion in funding as the state government pledges to create over 100,000 "high-skill, high-wage" jobs.

RBA cuts cash rate to record low of 2%

RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

Mark Mulligan 6:46 PM   The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2 per cent, citing some ongoing economic weakness for its decision.

Comments 136

Go spend, Hockey urges after rate cut

Treasurer Joe Hockey: RBA and the federal government are in lock-step.

James Massola 6:28 PM   Treasurer Joe Hockey has urged Australian households and businesses to borrow and invest money ahead of a "terrific" second budget, following the Reserve Bank's decision to cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2 per cent.

The interest rate cut losers

Marie and Ronald Wood, who rely heavily on interest from term deposits, say they are being stripped of hundreds of dollars a year.

Esther Han 5:29 PM   Many Australians cheered as the Reserve Bank announced a cut to the cash rate, but not everyone is celebrating.

We need to talk about negative gearing says ANZ boss Mike Smith

Clancy Yeates and Nassim Khadem 5:26 PM   ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has backed a discussion about negative gearing as part of the government's review of the tax system.

Australia risks economic crisis without carbon action

Australia is on track to consume all of its share of the global emissions budget in the next 10-17 years.

Peter Martin 2:15 PM   Australia' emissions-intensive economy gives it a greater than 50 per cent chance of a systemic economic crisis, a new study says.

Weak business investment boosts case for rate cuts

Will the RBA chop rates again?

Vesna Poljak 1:52 PM   A recovery in investment by Australian businesses might not happen until 2017 if profit growth fails to rise fast enough this year.

Hockey to move on fraud, identity crime and tax avoidance

Treasurer Joe Hockey is set to announce a new taskforce to tackle high-end financial crime.

Mark Kenny 12:45 PM   Canberra is planning a major assault on high-end financial crime through the establishment of a new Serious Financial Crime Taskforce drawing on the nation's major law enforcement, business, and taxation regulators, and provided with $127.6 million over four years to secure criminal convictions.

RBA tipped to cut despite hot property, economic pick-up


Mark Mulligan   The Reserve Bank of Australia is widely tipped to cut interest rates for the second time this year when its board meets on Tuesday, despite signs the economy is improving and fears about stoking house price inflation in Sydney.

Comments 1

Odds on: RBA tipped to cut despite hot property

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has noted rapidly growing house prices in the Sydney market.

Mark Mulligan   The Reserve Bank of Australia is widely tipped to cut interest rates for the second time this year when its board meets on Tuesday, despite signs the economy is improving.

Comments 31

Abbott pledges 'big political risks' for budget

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration minister Peter Dutton during a press conference after they visited Border Protection Command in Canberra on Monday 4 May 2015. Photo: Andrew Meares

James Massola   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised his government will continue to take big political risks to repair the budget, while conceding "we didn't achieve everything we hoped to achieve" last year.

Replace petrol taxes with pay-as-you-go road charging, experts say

Traffic congestion in Melbourne.

Jacob Saulwick   The rise of fuel efficient cars will force governments to look for alternatives to petrol taxes, a roads conference heard on Monday, with advocates arguing instead for motorists to be charged according to how far they drive.

Call to tax the rich and save $19.5b a year

The Australia Institute proposed a "Buffet Rule" of a minimum tax rate of 35 per cent for someone on $300,000 a year.

Nassim Khadem   Superannuation tax concessions are mostly benefiting the wealthy at significant cost to the federal budget, but by making changes to super and other tax breaks the government could save up to $19.5 billion a year.

Apartments, townhouses driving high-density boom

Apartment approvals were particularly strong in NSW in March.

Mark Mulligan   Australian cities are growing skyward as much as out into the suburbs, with data on Monday confirming that the boom in high-density living is helping to pick up slack in the economy as it changes the shape of our urban centres.

Comments 7

RBA's news is three months old

Michael Pascoe

Michael Pascoe   The Reserve Bank commentary industry is in a strange space this week: not only does it apparently already know what the RBA board will decide tomorrow, the reasoning behind it is three months old.

Comments 2

No more shortcuts to budget surplus

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins   It won't be long before we find out what effect the failure of last year's budget has had on this year's.

Comments 50

Job ads bounce back after March drop

ANZ says April job ads were up 2.3 per cent month on month, with internet advertising ahead 2.4 per cent and newspapers down 2.5 per cent.

Mark Mulligan   Job advertisements rebounded in April after dropping in March for the first time in 10 months, according to the latest ANZ survey. 

Abbott government cannot afford 'dull' budget: Shorten

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Mark Kenny, Gareth Hutchens   A former Treasury official believes the Abbott government ought to be "war gaming" a scenario in which it is forced to use its budget to stave off recession.

Lack of gender diversity costs energy companies millions: EY index

Origin Energy has set targets to increase gender diversity across the company.

Nassim Khadem   EY's Women in Power and Utilities Index 2015 has measured an average return on equity of 8.5 per cent for the global top 20 utilities that are gender diverse.

Comments 4

Ross Gittins

Last phase of resources boom just starting

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins   If you think the resources boom is all over bar the shouting, someone who ought to know begs to differ.

Time for the RBA's drop to stop

Michael Pascoe

Michael Pascoe   The Reserve Bank should think twice if it is using journalists to prepare the market for its rates decisions.

Australia's AAA rating not in danger, Joe Hockey says

Treasurer Joe Hockey" "There is no suggestion of a risk. None."

Matt Siegel and Paul Ingrassia   There is no risk of Australia being stripped of its topnotch credit rating, Treasurer Joe Hockey says, and flags tougher rules to stop tax avoidance by multinationals.

Comments 10

Tax commissioner gains new powers

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan's new powers can only be used in favour of taxpayers.

Nassim Khadem   New powers for the tax commissioner is designed to benefit taxpayers.

Comments 2

Google paid $11.7m tax, but there's 'more we can do'

Tax experts fear a new Google tax akin to that which came into play in the UK on Wednesday.

Nassim Khadem   Google Australia's tax bill has risen by $4.6 million to $11.7 million, but the technology giant still hasn't counted its lucrative search engine business revenue that gets instead counted offshore.

Comments 24

Reserve Bank to cut rates on Tuesday in face of weak economy

Investors await Tuesday's policy decision from RBA governor Glenn Stevens.

Peter Martin   Concern about a deteriorating economic outlook and a resurgent Australian dollar will force the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates to an all-time low on Tuesday.

Singapore not a tax haven, it's a value-adding hub

The SuperTree by IndoChine, one of Singapore's great attractions, in addition to its low tax rates.

Nassim Khadem   Australian corporations are offshoring billions of dollars in Singapore to minimise tax.

ATO cracks down on rich older SMSF members avoiding tax

The ATO said 200 individuals have been identified as using such structures, and more than 25 private rulings have been issued, resulting in new tax bills.

Nassim Khadem   The Tax Office is honing in on self-managed super funds (SMSFs) claiming franking credit benefits and paying no tax.

Comments 6

What is a AAA credit rating and why does Australia need one?

Treasurer Joe Hockey faces a squeeze.

Jonathan Shapiro   What is this rating, where does it come from, and does it matter? Your AAA-rating questions answered.

Australia at risk of losing AAA rating, Goldies says


Stephen Cauchi   Australia's ''poor fiscal performance'' could lead to credit rating agencies downgrading its prestigious AAA credit rating, says Goldman Sachs.

Comments 21