Squiz Today / 23 March 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 23 March
CHILD CARE ARRANGEMENTS SORTED OUT IN CANBERRA
Getting legislation through parliament is a bit like making sausages: no-one needs to see the mess that goes into making the end product. So for the sake of the politically queazy, we’ll keep this light. Good news today for some 800,000 families using formal child care. The Senate sat until after midnight to pass the Turnbull government’s reforms putting an extra $1.6 billion towards helping families pay their child care fees. Essentially, the government will lift the cap on how much can be claimed over a year across income brackets, but the reforms are focused on low-income families.
HANG ON, CAN WE AFFORD THAT?
That is the crux of the barney. Long story short: Labor didn't support the package so Team Turnbull had to horse-trade with the independent senators to get something through. The result? The Coalition won’t pursue big welfare changes (including cuts to family tax benefit, paid parental leave and unemployment benefits), at least for the moment. But they will put a two-year freeze on indexing of family tax benefits to cover the cost.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Three quick things:
1. Expect the Coalition to be happy about getting legislation through a difficult Senate. Expect Labor to dial up the noise on the impact of the family tax benefit freeze.
2. As our accountant always says: it’s easy to spend, harder to save. It’s always been that way, but it’s a battle-on-steroids in recent times thanks to the instability in politics.
3. Senate sat late last night to get this done spoiling traditional Wednesday night drinkies. There will be fewer hangovers today, but also many tired people. A zero sum game for productivity.
SQUIZ THE REST
A TOUGH DAY FOR BUSINESS CONFIDENCE
They’re calling it a Trump Slump, and you know what they say – when the US has a Trump Slump, Australia sags under its weight. Ok, we made that up - but you get the drift. Market fears in the US that President Donald Trump will be stymied by Congress from getting on with his nation-building projects saw a 1.2% fall on Wall Street. The Australian market followed suit yesterday, down 1.1% yesterday, taking $26 billion off our shares. On top of that, Treasurer Scott Morrison would not commit to implementing all of the company tax cuts promised in last year’s election campaign. The total plan would cost $50 billion over ten years to implement, but many expect it could be carved back to focus on small business tax relief.
A TOUGH DAY FOR PARENTS ON PLANES
The US and UK governments have placed an aircraft cabin ban on taking laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices for flights from some countries in the Middle East and North Africa (note the UK ban relates to fewer countries, and doesn’t affect the main hubs for Aussie flights). If you listened hard enough, you could hear affected parents (and in fact 99.9% of passengers) wailing“WHYYYYYYY!!!” The US said it was in response to a substantiated and credible claim that ISIS was looking to smuggle explosives onto planes via the devices. Fear not, Aussies can continue downloading Peppa Pig onto their electronic nanny for the moment, our government says it has no plans to implement the same ATM.
A TOUGH DAY FOR ED SHEERAN
The world’s favourite singing redhead Ed Sheeran didn’t have anything to say, but yesterday he quietly added the song writers of TLC’s 90’s anthem No Scrubs to the credits of his song Shape of You. Just guessing, but we think Sheeran might have said “I See Fire” and pre-emptively moved to head off legal action over similarities in the songs. One of TLC’s former members Kandi Burruss (currently a Real Housewife of Atlanta) thanked Sheeran via Instagram. Sheeran has been sued before over plagiarism claims, proving Andy Warhol was right – art is whatever you can get away with.
…BUT A REALLY GOOD DAY FOR HARRY THE DOG
“Harry was swaying in his basket and his eyes weren’t focused. Nick said he looks stoned.” And indeed he was. Harry the English springer spaniel was enjoying his Sunday morning walk in Mosman, Sydney when he gobbled someone's stash of marijuana, forgetting the lessons stoner sloth taught him. Already nicknamed ‘Second Mortgage’, Harry is better, much to the relief of his owners. It’s the second time in six months a dog in the area has suffered effects of recreational pot use.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.20pm (EDST) - First game of the 2017 AFL Season - Carlton v Richmond, MCG
11.00pm (EDST) - World Cup Soccer Qualifier - Australia v Iraq (Tehran)
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