Squiz Today / 01 May 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 1 May
THE GST PIE – HARD TO SWALLOW
Consider this your vegetables for the week. And feel virtuous that you’re getting it out of the way early. Yesterday federal treasurer Scott Morrison announced he's asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a review into the economic impact of horizontal fiscal equalisation on GST distributions. Stay with us! Don’t panic! We’re here to get you through this. All it really means is the government is looking for some analysis on the best way to carve up the GST pie.
WTF?!? BACK IT UP
Trust us, you’ve got this. There’s a 10% goods and services tax on most things we buy. There are notable exceptions like fresh food. All GST revenue collected by the federal government is distributed to the states and territories. The Commonwealth Grants Commission shares it out based on their assessment of providing each state with the funding to “provide its citizens with a comparable level of government services.” The current system was formulated in 2000, so a long time ago. No state is very happy with what they get, but Western Australia has been very grizzly of late. For every GST dollar WA generates, it gets 30 cents back. From July, they'll get 34 cents, but that's a problem for the newly elected Labor government which says it costed its election commitments on the basis it would get 38 cents.
SO REMIND ME WHY I SHOULD GIVE A FLYING FIG?
If you enjoy driving on roads, having public hospitals and schools, and well-maintained state parliament buildings (well, maybe not the last one) it’s a good thing to know. You should also prepare for some airplay in the lead-up to next week's federal budget as every state premier and treasurer loudly explains why they need more love and attention – and dollars. NSW and SA have previously expressed support for an increase in the rate of GST from 10 to 15% - that old chestnut might do the rounds again too. But all yesterday’s announcement has done is buy PM Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Morrison some time - the Productivity Commission will report to the government by the end of January 2018.
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SCENE SET FOR TOTES AWKS TURNBULL/PALASZCZUK MEETING
We can’t help but think that’s exactly what Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was aiming for. And we hate falling for a setup, but here we are… Yesterday Palaszczuk outlined a long list of offences PM Turnbull has committed against the Sunshine State ahead of an event to commemorate the Battle of the Coral Sea in Townsville today where they will share the stage. We wonder if Turnbull will Merkel her, or vice versa (not as rude as it sounds)…
ADELAIDE WOMAN DETAINED IN COLOMBIA ON DRUGS CHARGES
Cassie Sainsbury, 22yo, was on a working holiday (she’s a personal trainer and volunteer firefighter) and was detained at Bogata airport on drug trafficking charges when she tried to leave on Good Friday. The Australian reports this morning that a man she met previously helped her to buy headphones as a gift for her bridesmaids for her upcoming wedding. It’s alleged the package of headphones was actually 5.8kg of cocaine. The Australian Embassy is in contact with her, reports say they've even taken her a mattress and blanket.
QUICK INTERNATIONAL NEWS WRAP
US President Donald Trump took his 100 days in office celebration to a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He clearly enjoyed himself during the hour-long appearance by throwing some shade on the media and the ‘swamp’ of Washington DC. Trump missed the White House Correspondents Dinner where journalistic royalty Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (think Watergate) counselled him in absentia about ‘fake news', and much merriment was had at his expense.
Trump made a TV interview appearance on Sunday calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "smart cookie" who took the leadership role young and fought off some tough characters to maintain his grip on power. He also said he didn't know if Kim was sane... The Pope also weighed in on North Korea on the weekend, calling the situation “too hot” and advocated for a third-party nation, such as Norway, to lead negotiations for a peaceful situation (why is it always Norway?). For their part, North Korea staged another (failed) missile test.
No doubt emboldened by the recent referendum win to increase his presidential powers, Turkey’s President Erdogan moved on the weekend to sack 4,000 public servants and block online encyclopedia Wikipedia. He also moved to ban dating shows (make of that what you will). Critics fear these are steps towards conservative Islam under Erdogan.
NEW DIGS FOR TECH BILLIONAIRE
Did you go house hunting on the weekend? Disillusioned by high prices but worried if you don’t jump now you’ll be priced out from owning your own home? Safe to say these were not considerations for Aussie tech billionaire Scott Farquhar. He’s bought Sydney’s historic Elaine on the harbour in Point Piper from the Fairfax family for a reported $70 million, the highest price paid for an Australian home. Look, the bloke is self-made (he and Mike Cannon-Brookes founded Atlassian) so congrats to him and his family. PS Scott, we’re available for your NYE party.
MKR FINAL - OFFAL TRUMPS SPICE
‘Serious siblings’ Amy and Tyson have been rewarded for their attempt to bring offal back by winning Seven’s 2017’s My Kitchen Rules crown and $250,000. Mum and daughter duo Valerie and Courtney did well with their five-course Indian meal, but it wasn’t enough to topple the team that led the series. We love MKR, but we’re kinda relieved it’s over. No more ‘Angry Angry Man’, no more references to what is and isn’t and ‘Amy and Tyson dish’, or stories about Valerie and Courtney’s Poppi, and definitely no more Josh. Or wondering how judge Pete Evans suffers through all that non-paleo food. Now Amy and Tim (from Tim and Kyle fame) can ride off into the sunset together – apparently they're dating. Aww!
MUSIC FESTIVAL PATRONS ON FYRE
When we saw this blow up on social media we thought it was an overreaction to a typo. We know - it’s ‘fire’, not ‘fyre’ - chill out! Turns out what was unfolding was a delicious case of schadenfreude. Think rich kids stranded on an island in the Bahamas, no running water, no amenities, basic food and no swimming pigs. No, this isn’t Survivor – it’s the Fyre music festival. Staged by rapper Ja Rule and relentlessly promoted for months beforehand by a whole bunch of models and Instagram influencers (yes, that’s a thing), promises of luxury accommodation and gourmet food experience were never delivered on. Worse still, Blink 182 were headlining. Tickets – up to $250,000. The scale of the fail – priceless.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Characteristics of Employment
Australian Industry Group - Manufacturing Index for April
Lei Day (Hawaii)
World Snooker Championships Final (UK) - Mark Selby (England) v John Higgins (Scotland)
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