Squiz Today / 25 January 2024

Squiz Today – 25 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10.15 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“For a moment I felt like a superstar.”

Said film extra Krishna Rimal who’s in the Victorian town of Walhalla, which is serving as a Nepalese backdrop for a new Liam Neeson flick. He’s been wowed by the “breakfast, lunch … coffee, tea, hot water, fruit” being served – add some Tim Tams and we’d better understand his excitement…

Labor floats stage 3 tax cuts 2.0

The Squiz  

The Albanese Government has confirmed what has been speculated on for quite some time – it wants to change the stage 3 tax cuts that are due to kick in from July. PM Anthony Albanese hasn’t announced the plan that was given the tick by his colleagues yesterday – that will happen at his National Press Club address today. He says he’ll use that occasion to give “a full exposition of economic policy and our response to provide assistance to middle Australia on cost of living”.

So explain these stage 3 tax cuts… 

The previous Coalition Government legislated a series of tax changes with the support of Labor. The already implemented first and second stages lowered the tax bills of low and middle-income earners. As for stage 3 [and pause for a deep breath…] – it would have created a single 30% income tax rate for those earning between $45,000-$200,000 a year and would give those at the top end a tax cut worth $9,075 a year. Cue criticism that high-income earners would disproportionally benefit from the measure worth almost $70 billion over 3 years. But under the changes Albanese wants to make, the tax cut our highest income earners would receive is $4,529 – aka half what was coming. And those earning between $50,000-$140,000 would get a bigger tax cut than the current stage 3 cuts provide. 

So the bottom line is…

There are 1.8 million high-income Aussies who won’t get the tax cut they were promised, but 12.5 million low and middle-income earners would be better off. The problem with that is some tax reform enthusiasts like the Coalition’s stage 3 tax cuts – they say it would attract smarty-pants international workers and increase productivity because of the economic incentive to work hard/earn more. And then there’s politics… The changes mean Albanese is breaking an election promise and will hand the Coalition a big stick to whack the government repeatedly with… Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley says the move shows the “election was won on a lie” and that it demonstrates that Albanese “can’t be trusted”. They’re lines we’ll hear from now to the next election so strap yourself in… 


Squiz the Rest

Winners aren’t grinners

Donald Trump has taken out the first 2 contests in the Republican presidential nomination race, leaving former UN ambassador Nikki Haley in his wake in yesterday’s New Hampshire primary. He will win by over 10 percentage points, but Haley isn’t throwing in the towel, vowing to continue her campaign and challenging Trump to a debate. She’s focusing her campaign on the message that “a Trump nomination is a Biden win and a Kamala Harris presidency,” adding that “the first party to retire its 80yo candidate is going to be the party that wins this election.” Trump is actually 77yo, but you catch her drift… For the former president’s part, he’s furious that Haley hasn’t dropped out of the race, but said “I don’t get too angry – I get even.” The race now moves to Nevada and South Carolina, and Haley’s promised to fight on through to Super Tuesday on 5 March when 16 states vote.

World News

Taking cover from Kirrily

It’s time to send your thoughts/prayers to our Far North Queensland cousins with Tropical Cyclone Kirrily already making herself known in the Whitsunday Islands. Premier Steven Miles says it will cross the coast later tonight somewhere between Cardwell and Bowen and is set to bring “very high levels of rainfall”. Townsville Airport will be closed from midday today, with Mayor Jenny Hill saying up to 12,000 homes could be damaged. But one thing’s for sure – Queensland is getting good at organising itself ahead of disasters… Hundreds of extra emergency and energy workers have been deployed to Townsville and Rockhampton, along with dozens of rescue watercraft, helicopters and large power generators. And it looks like they’ll need them… Kirrily isn’t fast-moving, so the region could be in for a “long and widespread event”.

Australian News Weather

The ABC of Kim

There’s a changing of the guard at the national broadcaster with media bigwig Kim Williams stepping into the role of chair, taking over from industry doyen Ita Buttrose. PM Albanese reckons Williams is the right bloke for the job – he lauded his experience and said the former News Corp/Foxtel boss “gets the ABC” and understands what it should be. And being Labor luminary Gough Whitlam’s son-in-law can’t hurt either… Williams called the role a “solemn responsibility”. Note: the ABC hasn’t had the easiest run of late… This week, a group of employees passed a vote of no confidence in managing director David Anderson over his handling of the broadcaster’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.


So much sport…

It’s set to be a crackerjack long weekend for a lot of Aussies – top-tier tennis, cricket and soccer will fill a jam-packed few days… We’ve got all the semis action in the Aussie Open today and tomorrow, and the last home Test of the cricket season kicks off at the Gabba in Brissie today (COVID willing…). And if that doesn’t fill your cup, the Socceroos have made it through to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup – the tournament they won back in 2015. And in other sporting news, we’ve learned a couple of Aussie champs won’t be part of the team heading to the Paris Olympics. Nick Kyrigos says even if he’s fit, he won’t go after being cut from the  2016 Rio team. And surf legend Steph Gilmore is taking a well-earned gap year to chase waves for fun. Gnarly…


Start spreading the news

The Big Apple has come out on top of an influential list of the world’s best cities of 2024. Time Out surveyed 20,000 people worldwide before awarding New York City the top spot ahead of Cape Town, Berlin, London and Madrid. The mag takes into account the city’s food scene, architecture and the buzz around big events. Why NYC? It’s “always adapting, always innovating and always pushing the boundaries,” they say. A couple of dark horses high up the list – #7 Liverpool because it’s “still on a high off the back of hosting Eurovision”. And who knew 15-ranked Manchester has an “unrivalled underground clubbing scene”? As for our great cities – Melbourne got a look in at #20  for its “insanely cool late-night listening lounges”, and Sydney is in at #31 because it’s “undeniably gorgeous”. We love it for its brain, but anyway…

World News

Apropos of Nothing

Flight attendants have slammed Qantas’s latest safety video, calling it sexist and elitist. The video features a bunch of exotic locations – but the union says it “should be about safety, not a rom-com”. When you’re hot, you’re hot – and when you’re not… 

Speaking of hot, a little blue penguin has been rescued from the runway of Wellington Airport in Kiwiland. The flightless bird was well out of its comfort zone with the temperature on the tarmac hitting 50C during an unseasonal hot spell.

And the votes have been counted in The Guardian’s best Aussie sporting moment poll with Cathy Freeman’s iconic 400m win at the Sydney Olympics bolting home in first place. Second was Matilda Cortnee Vine’s penalty shootout winner in last year’s Women’s World Cup, followed by Socceroo John Aloisi’s penalty that put us into the 2005 Men’s World Cup in Germany. Epic moments, one and all.

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – PM Anthony Albanese will address the National Press Club – Canberra 

3.00pm (AEST) – Second cricket Test match between Australia and the West Indies – Brisbane, and broadcast live on Seven

From 7.30pm (AEDT) – 2024 Australian of the Year Awards – Canberra, and broadcast live on ABC TV/iView

ABS Data Release – Prisoners in Australia, 2023

A birthday for Ukrainian President/comic actor Volodymyr Zelensky (1978)

Anniversary of:

  • Antarctica being identified as a new continent by Charles Wilkes’ American naval expedition (1840)
  • the Beatles hitting #1 in the US for the first time with I Want to Hold Your Hand (1964)
  • first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Australia, from a returning traveller from Wuhan, China (2020)
Squiz the Day

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