Squiz Today / 09 May 2018

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 9 May


“I hate to break it to you but eventually we’re all going to die.”

Was the theme of the Turnbull Government’s Budget last night. Just jokes! Author, presenter and political commentator Jamila Rizvi says she’s got a lot to get done, so she’s going hard. And one fun fact – she’d seat her Nan next to renowned drag artist RuPaul at her dream dinner party. Please welcome Jamila to the Three Minute Squiz.


When Treasurer Scott Morrison opened with the questions he said Australians wanted its government to answer, including “what have you achieved?” and Labor members roared with laughter, we thought it was going to be a long night. But in the end it was the star of the show - $140 billion worth of income tax cuts over 10 years – that got most of the attention.

The key numbers
• The deficit for 2017-18 = $18.2 billion. That’s the best result since John Howard was PM. And it’s anticipated we’ll swing into surplus in 2019-20.

• Gross debt is expected to reach $558 billion in 2027-28, not $684 billion as projected in December.

Tax cuts
• Team Turnbull announced light tax cuts starting 1 July for 10 million workers. Punch in your numbers here.

• The kicker is that the 37 cent income tax rate will be abolished and that will put 94% of taxpayers on the 32.5 cent rate or lower. But that won’t happen until 2024-25…

• Morrison also doubled-down on the government’s commitment to deliver corporate tax cuts despite current opposition from the Senate.

Other notables
• There’s $1.6 billion for 14,000 home care places to assist with keeping older Australians in their homes.

Multinational companies like Facebook and Google will be required to pay an extra $7 billion in tax each year.

• Superannuation funds will be banned from charging exit fees and making young people sign up for life insurance.

The ABC has had its funding frozen which will see it more than $80 million worse off over the next four years.

• $50 million has been set aside to prosecute Russia for its involvement in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine.

First to the Senate, then to voters. Let us explain. The government is keen for the parliament to pass the Budget to lock in its plan before the next election, which could happen before the next Budget. Team Turnbull will then use its “victimless” Budget as the basis of its campaign for re-election. As for Labor, we’ll hear what they think when leader Bill Shorten fronts up on Thursday night for his ‘reply’. But long story short, we’re heading towards an election dominated by the tax debate. Yee-haw…


It's no real surprise that US President Donald Trump has announced America’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. France, Germany and the UK lobbied for the US to stick with it but Trump has long called it a bad deal. He said overnight; "At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program." And he said that Israeli evidence shows Iran has continued to pursue a nuclear weapons program, so the US is out. Iran has threatened consequences.

ABC’s Four Corners this week on Saxon Mullins' ordeal with NSW’s legal system has led to the state’s consent laws being referred to the Law Reform Commission. Yesterday, NSW minister Pru Goward echoed Mullins' take on consent; "If it's not an enthusiastic 'yes', then it's a 'no'," she said. "I feel that this is where the law in NSW needs to go… I'm hopeful that the Law Reform Commission will come to a similar conclusion."

AMP board members Vanessa Wallace and Holly Kramer have stepped down ahead of potential trouble at the company’s AGM on Thursday. Both were likely targets for protest votes against their reappointment. And Patty Akopiantz, who was not up for re-election, said she would leave the board by the end of the year. Each maintains company directorships with other big companies and received support from the broader business community yesterday. Interim executive chairman Mike Wilkins said; "Our shareholders are demanding board accountability and need to know that meaningful change is underway.”

And while we have you… We erred yesterday when we said former AMP chairwoman Catherine Brenner had been sacked. She resigned. Words matter.

Even though the headline alone demonstrates how uncool we are… Donald Glover is an American writer, actor, producer and musician. He got his big break writing for Tina Fey’s 30 Rock (in our all-time top five TV shows) and won acclaim last year for his song Redbone which he performed under his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino. This week, he released a new song and video This Is America, and it's causing a big stir. It's about racism and gun violence, and it's very uncomfortable to watch, but we couldn’t get it out of our head all day. But if you’re game, give it look. Just maybe not on your work computer.

The theme ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ is the result of US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s hard-won favour with the Vatican to showcase the church’s impact on fashion through the ages. Enough with the serious stuff, now to the frocks. And the consensus was Rihanna won the night with a bedazzled Pope’s hat. Of course she did.


12.30pm (AEST) - Treasurer Scott Morrison to give his Budget Address to the National Press Club - Canberra

ABS Data Release - International Merchandise Trade: Confidential Commodities List, April 2018

Europe Day

Victory Day - Russia

Anniversary of the opening of the first Parliament of Australia (1901)

Anniversary of Nelson Mandela becoming President of South Africa (1994)

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