Rates to stay low as older Australians and mums boost the workforce

“It remains to be seen if future growth in demand will be sufficient to put pressure onthe economy’s supply capacity and lift inflation in a reasonable timeframe,” he said. “It is certainly possible that this is the outcome. But if demand growth is not sufficient, the[RBA] board is prepared to provide additional support by easing monetary policy further.” Markets put the chance of a rate cut at the RBA board’s August 6 meeting at just 22 per cent, but they fully expect the cash rate to be reduced to 0.75…

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Private health insurance ‘death spiral’ getting worse, data shows

“Young people realise the lack of value that they are getting,” he said. “If private health insurance was good value for money, it would not have a problem in attracting and retaining customers.” Only then, he said, would Australians who could afford insurance take it up, leaving those with “no other option” to be treated in the public system. The largest decline was in age group 25 to 29, down 6.9 per cent, while the largest increase was in age group 90 to 94, up 8.8 per cent. Older Australians…

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Commercial factors overtake subsidies as driver of wind, solar investment

But the CER, which administers the target, said “2018 was the year in which commercial factors became a stronger driver for ongoing investment in renewables” than incentives under the target. Loading The regulator drew this conclusion because almost 3800 megawatts of renewables projects were committed to between May and December last year, despite the 23.5 per cent target having already been met and the price of certificates generated under the scheme falling rapidly. The CER report said by 2020, an additional 40,000 gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources would…

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Confucius Institute contract revelations see universities facing foreign influence probe

“I spoke to Universities Australia this morning and stressed the importance of all universities that host foreign institutes complying with the foreign influence transparency scheme,” he said. “I will be meeting with vice chancellors in early August and have placed this issue on the agenda for that meeting.” Dan Tehan stressed the importance of all universities that host foreign institutes complying with the foreign influence transparency scheme.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer Mr Tehan said the Attorney-General’s Department had been scrutinising some institutions to see if they should be registering arrangements with the recently…

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Phil Gaetjens appointed secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Mr Gaetjens will take over the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet when Martin Parkinson departs in August. Loading Department of Infrastructure boss Steven Kennedy will be the next Treasury secretary. “I believe that the two men have done an extraordinary job, and have earned my trust and my respect, and the respect of my government,” Mr Morrison said. Dr Parkinson initially planned to retire when his term ended in 2021. “We agreed it was time for some new leadership,” the Prime Minister said. “But going forward, I expect I…

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ABC managing director David Anderson turns down pay rise amid budget squeeze

The last reported pay package of the managing director was $918,924 in 2017-18. Loading The tribunal awarded public servants of Mr Anderson’s seniority a base salary of more than $498,080 in 2019-20. Following a series of budget cuts since 2014, the ABC is currently navigating a three-year funding freeze that came into effect this month. With base funding of just over $1 billion annually, the freeze will deny the broadcaster $15 million in 2019-20, $28 million in 2020-21 and $41 million in 2021-22. In this year’s budget, the Coalition government…

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Will Fowles, Victorian Labor MP, questioned over hotel disturbance

First term Victorian Labor MP Will Fowles has been questioned by police over a disturbance at a Canberra hotel on Thursday morning. Police were called to the Abode Hotel in Kingston after Mr Fowles had a disagreement with staff over access to his luggage. Victorian Labor MP Will Fowles. Photographs from the Abode Hotel show a door with substantial damage. Patrons of the hotel say they were kept outside of the hotel for some time while police investigated the incident. Politics

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Morrison government to prioritise pensioners over Newstart recipients

The lobby groups now argue unemployment benefits should be included in a major review ordered by the government earlier this year into the retirement income and superannuation system. Loading Government sources stressed Mr Morrison has not changed his view on lifting Newstart since comments in November that if he “had the money to do that, I reckon I would be doing it for pensioners first”. Treasury has estimated a $75-a week increase would cost the budget $12.5 billion over four years and $39 billion over a decade. Nationals deputy leader…

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Brexit ‘freak show’ will hurt us all, European business leader says

“The business community has invested enormously in bringing more rationality into something we think is a very bad idea from the outset,” Mr Beyrer said. An anti-Brexit protester wears a Boris Johnson comic face mask near the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday.Credit:Bloomberg “It will not make Europe stronger, and of course it will be very challenging for the UK and there are very heavy underestimations of the impacts.” While business leaders in Europe had sought agreed terms on the British departure from the EU, it now warns of…

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Confucius Institutes contracts reveal universities ‘must accept’ Chinese government directives

The institutes are joint ventures between the host university, a partner university in China, and Hanban, an agency under China’s education ministry which supplies funding, staff and resources. Confucius Institutes provide teaching on Chinese culture and language and some hold public events on political, social and economic issues. Universities worldwide have embraced the centres but critics are concerned about censorship of sensitive political issues and centres operating as platforms for propaganda and undue influence on campus and beyond. A spokeswoman for UQ said the contract — first signed in 2009…

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