Carbon Pricing Legislation Passed By The Senate - Talking Business 2011 Ep 41c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary.

Leon and Garry discuss how the Federal Government's carbon pricing legislation has been passed by the Senate. Deloitte Access Economics says the government won’t bring the budget into surplus but Treasurer Wayne Swan is now making big cuts while Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson says that restoring the government's budget to surplus remains a top priority. Job advertisements have fallen for the fourth month in a row but the official jobless rate has fallen. The decline in Australia's construction industry also slowed. Australia records a trade surplus of $2.56 billion in September. Demand for home loans lifted for the third straight month and optimists now exceed pessimists in the Westpac Melbourne Institute of Consumer Sentiment, after the rate cut. A NAB survey shows business conditions are softening. About 150,000 low-paid workers - mostly women - could get an average pay rise of $12,000 a year under a historic pay rise push backed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia expects subdued credit growth to continue into next year. After two days of hectic talks in Cannes by top world leaders to resolve the Eurozone debt crisis, the G20 Summit is being seen as a failure. Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Greek Prime Minister George Panadreou have resigned but markets are not convinced. The Transport Workers Union is set to pursue a Federal Court challenge to the Fair Work Australia ruling that prevents unions from taking industrial action against Qantas. New competitive threats to Qantas emerge on two fronts. Health, education and engineering firms are expected to be hardest hit by the looming skills shortages in the Australian workforce over the next decade, according to the Clarius Skills Index. Explosives and mining services supplier Orica is considering selling its specialty bolts and chemicals business, Minova. Computershare’s largest-ever acquisition has finally obtained United States anti-trust clearance. But still, Computershare Ltd, expects first half earnings to fall about 15 per cent from a year earlier because of tough and volatile markets. Moody's Investors Service has placed Macquarie Group's credit rating on review for possible downgrade due to protracted weakness in financial markets. Australia’s powerful bank regulator has warned banks against cutting too deeply into their cost base while the lending environment remains subdued, saying such moves could compromise their own safety nets. Developers are expected to release more housing lots over the next five years as the nation's housing market bottoms out and starts to grow again, according to BIS Shrapnel. The Australian share market has ended another volatile month on global stock markets by posting the biggest one-month gain in two years. The Coalition now says it will not roll back superannuation increases for workers which Labor has tied to the mining tax. The Australia Network tender process has been terminated and the police called in amid claims the leaking of confidential information has compromised any deal. The Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire, News Ltd, will no longer be run by a newspaperman, John Hartigan, but by Kim Williams, the pay TV executive and son-in-law of former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam. Wesfarmers shareholders have used the company's annual general meeting to criticise its move to grant pay increases to executives.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler
RMIT, economics, business