Luxury car tax bill defeated, job ads up in August: Economy roundup

Breaking news from the floor of Federal Parliament today, with the Opposition and Family First senator Steven Fielding banding together to block the Rudd Government’s attempt to rise the luxury car tax on vehicles worth over $57,000 from 25% to 33%.

Breaking news from the floor of Federal Parliament today, with the Opposition and Family First senator Steven Fielding banding together to block the Rudd Government’s attempt to rise the luxury car tax on vehicles worth over $57,000 from 25% to 33%.

The Greens won concessions from the Government to exempt the most fuel efficient luxury cars from the tax increase, but Fielding voted against the tax increase after failing to win concessions of vehicles used by farmers and tourism operators.

But Treasurer Wayne Swan may be forced back to the negotiating table if he wants the tax to get through the Senate.

Data from online job advertisement company SEEK showed job applications increased by 0.1% in August, to be 2.2% higher than a year earlier. This followed a modest fall of 0.5% in July.

Western Australia and Queensland remain the strongest states in terms of the number of job opportunities available, with new job ads up by 1.2% and 0.9% respectively in the month of August, and up 21.6% and 9.2% year on year.

This morning’s trade data was a bit of a surprise. Australia posted a trade deficit of $717 million in July, seasonally adjusted, compared to market forecasts of a trade surplus of $108 million.

The local sharemarket has had a tough morning, after a report from broking house Citi suggested NAB and ANZ were likely to post more losses as a result of the credit crisis.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 47.3 points or 0.9% at 5012.7, after touching a high of 5081.5 in early trade. The index fell 1.1% on Wednesday.

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