Squiz Today / 19 December 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 December
That’s how celebrity agent Max Markson described the upcoming nuptials of jailed Aussie drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury and Scott Broadbridge. The location? The lavish El Buen Pastor prison in Colombia. Markson says Aussie designers will be climbing over each other for the opportunity to design Sainsbury’s dress. “It’s going to be a special event and will attract attention across the country... that’s great exposure,” he said.
BUDGET SURPLUS - HERE WE COME
What do we want? An update on Australia’s budgetary position! When do we want it? Now! This chant rang loud around the nation yesterday* as we paused to hear the latest from our economic leaders, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. The key message: we’re on track to return to a budget surplus in 2020-21. The last time we were there was 2007-08.
*May not be factually correct.
OK, GIVE ME THE KEY POINTS IF YOU MUST…
You got it.
• We’re $9.3 billion better off than we thought we’d be. That’s because more people are in jobs than anticipated = lower welfare costs. And the interest payments on our debt is lower than budgeted.
• The government will keep its contribution per uni student at current levels for the next two years to save $2.1 billion over the next four years.
• It also hopes to save $1.3 billion by making newly-arrived migrants wait longer to receive some welfare payments. It does not apply to refugees and those who can demonstrate economic hardship.
WHERE’S MY TAX CUT?
Settle down… PM Malcolm Turnbull has promised he’ll have more to say on that as part of next year’s Budget process. But the government did press its case on business tax cuts. That’s because wages growth is low leading the government to conclude that the only way a pay increase will come to the nine-out-of-ten workers who rely on the private sector for their job is through the growth that would come from a business tax cut. Labor maintains that’s the wrong way to go and that money would be better spent on things like education. Next stop, a ministerial reshuffle…
CHRISTMAS DELIVERED TO YOU
PRESENTED BY WOOLWORTHS
Can you think of a million things you need to be doing this week other than the supermarket shopping? So why not let Woolworths do your shopping for you. There are a few things to know:
1. Their prices are the same whether you shop in-store or online.
2. Your first delivery is free if you spend more than $100.
3. If you're not going to be home to receive your delivery there are heaps of stores that offer a 'pick up' service. And it's totally free.
4. Woolies are offering one lucky reader of today's email a free three-month Delivery Saver pass. We'll draw the winner at 4.00am Wednesday morning (seriously...). How will we sleep with all that anticipation?
SQUIZ THE REST
TRAIN DERAILMENT IN AMERICA
Several people have died and more than 70 were injured when an Amtrack passenger train derailed on an overpass forcing it onto the road below. The incident occurred near DuPont, Washington as the train made its first trip on a new route between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Authorities are still collecting information.
XENOPHON ON TRACK TO SHAKE UP SOUTH AUSTRALIA
A Newspoll in The Australian this morning (paywall alert) shows former South Australian senator Nick Xenophon and his new party SA Best are in the box seat for the state’s March election. SA Best (which polled 32 on a primary vote basis) outperformed both Labor (27) and the Liberals (29). And Xenophon scored 46 as preferred premier compared to Premier Jay Wetherill (22) and Liberal leader Steven Marshall (19). He’ll need to get a move on - Xenophon says SA Best will field candidates in 20 of the state’s 46 seats but has so far announced just six.
ADANI MINE CONTRACT DISSOLVED
Indian miner Adani says it will press ahead with its Carmichael mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin despite announcing it and mining services company Downer had mutually decided to part ways. Anyone involved in a breakup would tell you that’s never the full story, but good luck to them. Downer was contracted to develop the huge proposed mine for $2.6 billion but reports say Adani are cutting costs after the Queensland government vowed to veto a $1 billion loan. Adani says it will take a DIY approach, but plenty of pundits are wondering if it's all getting too hard for it to proceed.
QUICK WORLD NEWS WRAP
SOUTH AFRICA’S RULING PARTY PICKS RAMAPHOSA – And with the ANC likely to win the 2019 election, Cyril Ramaphosa is therefore likely to become the country's next president. He's talked about tackling corruption and is aligned with business. Defeated candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife, campaigned on correcting racial inequality.
RUSSIA STIRS ANTI-ISLAMIC POT - Russia "systematically" used fake Twitter accounts to increase UK citizens' fears in the aftermath of this year's terror incidents. Posts from 47 accounts linked to the Kremlin attempted to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment in the wake of the London Bridge attack and Manchester bombing. Why? They hoped to "set off a chain reaction which could ultimately lead to violence on the streets and so to a breakdown of law and order.”
CANADA INTRIGUED BY RICH-LISTERS' DEATHS - Canada is abuzz with speculation over the deaths of pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey last week. They were both found hanged at their home by their real estate agent leading to early speculation that it was a murder-suicide. “No way” said their friends. Canadian authorities confirmed their deaths are being investigated by homicide detectives (which isn’t the same as saying it's being treated as homicide…). Mr Sherman founded generic drug company Apotex Inc in 1974 and was Canada’s 15th richest person.
BALL OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Not only has Australia won the third Ashes test – and the Ashes series (yay!) – one of ours has bowled what’s being called the ball of the series/millennium (depending on your personal excitability range). English cricketer James Vince was clean bowled by Aussie paceman Mitchell Starc on Sunday with a delivery that even the most cricket-allergic would have to admit was (put on your best Richie Benaud voice) "marvellous". "I think if I faced that another 20, 30 times I think it would get me out every time," said Vince. Wait for the slow-mo to see the magic. Australia now holds both the men's and women's Ashes trophies.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Consumer Price Index, September
Annual General Meeting - ANZ Group
20th anniversary of the opening of Titanic, the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time
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