Squiz Today / 18 May 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 18 May
COST OF LIVING BITES WAGE SLAVES
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released wages growth figures yesterday and it wasn’t pretty. Wages grew by just 0.5% for the March quarter, taking growth to 1.9% for the last year. The Australian Financial Review says we are experiencing the most sustained deterioration in real wages since the recession of the 1990s. With inflation (how much the price of our goods and services are increasing) at 2.1%, the bottom line is wage earners are finding it very hard to get ahead financially. Tell you something you don’t know, right?
I KNEW I WAS FEELING THE PINCH!
And to add insult to injury a report out yesterday showed renting has become more unaffordable in all metropolitan areas except Perth. Renting a place anywhere near a capital city CBD (and by 'near' we mean within about 20km) risks placing people under significant rental stress. To underline all this, the Westpac consumer sentiment survey out yesterday showed most of us remain pessimistic about the economy.
SO WHERE TO FROM HERE?
No one will be more motivated to see you earn a bit more than the government. One of the numbers they have based their budget on is wages growth – and they have predicted it’s going to be 2.5% next financial year, and steadily increasing to 3.75% in 2020-21. Go you good thing! One sceptic is S&P Global (aka Standard and Poor’s) who yesterday maintained Australia’s AAA rating but kept their negative outlook. This rating is important because it dictates the quality of borrowing our government can access, and we’re currently borrowing a fair bit, like $490 billion of it… Makes us feel a bit better about the size of our mortgage.
SQUIZ THE REST
PRESIDENT TRUMP V FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY
With Washington still aghast that US President Donald Trump passed on classified information to Russian officials (which Russia denies btw), attention yesterday turned to a potentially more serious matter. The latest allegation relates to Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn and whether Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop a potentially embarrassing investigation into Flynn’s links to Russia. The allegation is serious because, if true, it means Trump tried to directly influence an FBI investigation – a yuuuge no-no. Trump and the White House have denied the accusation. "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly," said Trump overnight. Umm, except maybe for the ones around the world who are being locked up, killed, exiled and cheated... Popcorn anyone?
GOVERNMENT ASK BANKS TO SIGN NDA
Already cranky that they weren’t able to get much sense out of the Treasury on how the new $6.2 billion bank levy is going to work, the banks last night were livid the government has asked them to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they can get any details. Settle in for a few more weeks on this one – and expect it to be angry and shrill. Much like an episode of the Real Housewives without the 'fabulous' people, booze and pretty locations.
FAIRFAX TELLS THE ABC TO BACK OFF
A Senate inquiry looking at how the government can support quality journalism in an era of ‘clickbait’ and ‘fake news’ hosted Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood yesterday. And by ‘hosted’ we mean grilled. Hywood was put through his paces on his salary (said to be as high as $7 million), upcoming job cuts and the proposed offer for his business by private equity mob TPG. Hywood’s key points: the ABC are undercutting Fairfax by competing for key words on Google – particularly galling given the ABC is taxpayer funded. TPG are expected to be called to the inquiry on Friday – kinda odd because they're not a media company and they haven’t even made a bid for Fairfax yet.
SALT CREEK ATTACKER JAILED
A court in South Australia yesterday sentenced Roman Heinze to 22 years jail for his attack on two female backpackers (a Brazilian and a German) in February last year. Heinze answered a Gumtree ad to give the women a lift from Adelaide to Melbourne. The trio camped one night at Salt Creek where things turned nasty. The Brazilian woman was tied up and sexually assaulted, the German woman was attacked with a hammer and repeatedly run over by his 4WD. Somehow they escaped separately. “It's obvious you are a man with a very strong anger management issue,” Justice Trish Kelly said = understatement of the century.
DEPRESSION TAKES ITS TOLL ON TWO NOTABLE MEN
John Brogden, former senior NSW pollie, and up until yesterday CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has left the role with his wife Lucy telling a Lifeline lunch he is currently in hospital to treat depression. Brogden attempted suicide in 2005 and returned to public life as an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. He maintains his role as chairman of Lifeline. Meanwhile, rugby league star Greg Inglis has admitted himself to a mental health clinic to get treatment for depression. Inglis has been off injured from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and is said to have been very low.
“If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand.”
In what is possibly our favourite thing all week, there are videos on Facebook of the King of Thailand walking around a shopping mall in Munich in jeans and a little yellow crop top. King Maha Vajiralongkorn is 64yo, has a tonne of tattoos, and looks pretty happy with himself. Good for him! Not everyone is happy though. Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission say they will sue Facebook if the ‘illicit’ pictures are not taken down. Thailand has strict laws prohibiting insults towards the monarchy, a crime punishable by 15 years jail.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Education Ministers Meeting, Adelaide
ABS Data release - Labour Force, April
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.