No taxes – No $900 Bonus!

Just to follow up on my blog about the Rudd Stimulus Package: The Age has reported that some people haven’t recieived the $900 amount even though they lodged a tax return of less than $100,000.

The article provides a few examples of people who aren’t receiving them and casts them in a sympathetic light. I don’t quite agree with the side The Age is representing here and this example proves why:

A Melbourne freelance documentary maker, Kerry, said she was shocked to discover she would not receive the bonus, which she has planned to pay towards her mortgage.

“I could claim on the documentary, which meant the small amount I did pay I got completely reimbursed,” she said. “So even though I’m a low income earner and my children both live at home and I was really depending on that $900, they are aged 19 and 20 so it’s just meant that I haven’t fallen into any of the eligibility areas. ”

“The fact that I’ve fallen through the cracks has absolutely destroyed me”

I can see why it may be unfair that they aren’t receiving the stimulus, but when they receive a large amount of tax deductions do they really need a $900 bonus as well? The use of words such as “shocked” and “destroyed” imply that Kerry is really suffering but the fact is she didn’t pay any tax so should she be eligible for the $900 that we have all paid for in our own taxes?

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 6:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Hold onto your jobs – here comes more cutbacks

Financial Services company AXA has announced they will be slashing up to 120 jobs this month, in an effort to cut down on costs as the meltdown in global markets continue to affect their wealth management industry. The Age said that mostly operational roles were expected to be cut and the cuts are most likely to be made in Melbourne where the company’s head office is located.

The planned shake-up, understood to have been announced to staff this morning, follows around 90 positions – mostly among contractors – lost across AXA’s Australian operations late last year.

In Feburary AXA Chief Executive warned shareholders to brace themelves for another tough year as more than $700 million was wiped from it’s investment portfolio.

All we seem to keep hearing is numbers upon numbers of money. I find it hard to actually comprehend how much $700 million dollars is.

PMP also announced it will cut 67 permanent jobs at it’s printing centre in Melbourne as the recession slows the demand for printing. The Sydney Morning Herald said the announcement comes only 2 months after the company closed 2 presses in Adelaide and Brisbane to eliminate 76 jobs and remove some of it’s middle management.

But the company also warned its operating earnings would come in worse than previously forecast and fall below the $33.5 million reached in the first half, which means it is heading for a full-year slump in operating earnings of more than 21%.

With the unemployment rate getting higher and higher, and companies laying off workers left, right and centre, it’s any wonder how they can afford all these redundancy payments? The media has been critical of companies such as Qantas for making job cutbacks but who isn’t making necessary cutbacks these days? It seems most businesses are needing to, which is why the unemployment rate is so high, but why are these companies taking all the flack?

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Union’s Steel Plan: closure of Port Kembla’s steel mill

Port Kembla's Steel Mill

Port Kembla's Steel Mill Photo: Illawarra Mercury

The head of the Australian workers mill has warned that steel mills across the globe may be closed down, including the mill located at Port Kembla. The Illawarra Mercury described the unions 21st century steel plan as a federal intervention which highlighted the serious position the steel industry is in.

“Australia needs to urgently adopt a 21st century Steel Plan. We need a stratagem to save a key industry in the face of the global economic crisis,” [AWU National Secretary Paul Howes] said.

Earlier this month BlueScope chief executive Noel Cornish said the viability of the Port Kembla steelworks – along with the 12,000 jobs it supports – would be under threat if the scheme took effect in its present form.

Despite Howes’ comments, the Mercury also reported that the announcement was a just presumption and that no final decision was going to be made any time soon. I just heard the 12,000 workers take a sigh of relief.

Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Tourist influx good for local economy

Dubbo has a suprising busy weekend over Easter, as tourists travelled into the city rewarding businesses with increased trading. The Daily Liberal reported strong attendance numbers at the Western Plains zoo, with ticket sales up to 30% more than the previous year.

Dubbo City Tourism Association noted “most motels” were full across Friday, Saturday and into Sunday, and that this Easter was a good time for “employers and employees alike” with increased patronage requiring additional labour.

Rain in the area over the weekend was also good for farmers, who have been suffering under the central west drought for the past few years.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment