Squiz Today / 23 March 2018
Squiz Today – Friday, 23 March
No, not that feeling you get when you put a skirt on for the first time in ages and remember you haven’t de-haired your legs for a while. It's a kind of tumbleweed, and it's out of control in Laceby, south of Wangaratta, Victoria. Almost as scary as the leg situation.
ONLINE SHOPPING TAX SLUG
Online shopping. Are there two more perfect words in the English language? Sorry, but get ready for it to cost more with the federal government imposing the 10% GST on all purchases from 1 July. That’s old news. The new news is the government is also considering an additional $5-7 tax on every parcel posted from overseas.
WAIT… MY ONLINE SHOPPING’S GOING TO BE HIT WITH THE GST?
Yes. And soon. The GST is currently payable on orders over $1,000. From July, GST will be applied to ‘low value imported goods’, ie orders under $1,000, which accounts for about 90% of shopping orders coming into Australia. The government believes it will net them about $300 million over three years. Australian retailers wanting a level playing field championed the change.
AND NOW THERE’S GOING TO BE AN EXTRA TAX?
Hold your horses. PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said it’s not a done deal. The argument for it is 40 million shopping orders arrived in Australia last year (and back in the day we would have been responsible for a good portion of that). And with international online shopping getting easier and better, that volume will likely continue to increase. All of which means increased costs to our border control/customs authorities. We wonder if Net-a-Porter/Shopbop fans will close their shopping apps long enough to let their local MP know what they think?
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JOBS GROWTH CONTINUES
Look at us go! We’re up to 17 straight months of jobs growth. The unemployment rate nudged a smidge higher to 5.56% in February from 5.5% in January because of the influx of available workers. But the labour market also added 17,500 jobs. The Turnbull Government continued its business tax cuts = more jobs campaign yesterday. But pundits warned the major threat to Aussie jobs is the prospect of a trade war between China (our biggest trade partner) and the US (our major ally). That wasn't helped with US President Donald Trump announcing $50 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods and limits on investment in the US yesterday. It’s payback for what the US alleges is years of intellectual property theft.
FACEBOOK SAYS SORRY
After copping a tonne of criticism for avoiding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fronted up for an interview with CNN yesterday to say that he was sorry. He also posted to Facebook an admission that his company had made mistakes in not protecting users’ data. What the Zuck? Facebook faces angry regulators and users for its years-long silence about what went down with Cambridge Analytica. Which has raised questions about what other data leaks have occurred…
SARKOZY ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (aka Mr Carla Bruni) is being investigated for receiving illicit campaign financing. Specifically, he’s accused of receiving millions of euros of campaign donations from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Shying away from cash in brown paper bags, one witness says suitcases stuffed with cash were handed over to Sarkozy and Claude Guéant, his chief of staff. Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing.
Three quick items:
• One from way back – remember the legal fight over the Robin Thicke/Pharrell song Blurred Lines? Yesterday a US court awarded $5.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, who argued the song is illegally copied from his song Got To Give It Up.
• Nine's Married at First Sight hit a new ratings high on Wednesday night with 2.6 million viewers. So it now holds the top and second most-watched non-sports program of the year.
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Super mare Winx is going for her 24th consecutive win with a run in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. That led us to do some inter web browsing, which turned up this gem. You can go for a gallop around the track on the best racehorse in the world. (The video is at the top of the story in case it takes a little time to load.)
Using social media for good – topical this week. An illustrator researching a kids’ book came across a group photo from a 1971 scientific conference. In the sea of men’s faces was one woman. So began the search via Twitter to find her.
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Former US President Barack Obama in Sydney until Saturday
12.35pm (AEDT) - Women's AFL Grand Final - Western Bulldogs v Brisbane Lions - Melbourne
6.50pm (AWST) - First Qantas flight departs from Perth to London direct
8.30pm - Earth Hour
March For Our Lives protesting an end to gun violence and mass shootings in schools - Washington DC
Pakistan National Day
Greece Independence Day
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