Politics

Hockey says Coalition will take any wage change to an election; Apple’s Australian tax bill falls despite record revenues: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

The federal government has vowed not to make changes to the working conditions of minimum wage earners without the stamp of approval from voters.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a radio interview yesterday the government “needed the support of the people” to make changes to penalty rates or the minimum wage, reports Fairfax.

Hockey’s comments come less than a week after the Productivity Commission released a series of issues papers for its far-reaching inquiry into the nation’s workplace relations system. Penalty rates, the minimum wage and other national employment standards will form part of the inquiry.

Responding to claims hundreds of Australian businesses were forced to stay closed on the Australia Day public holiday, Hockey said it is “not an uncommon story”.

“And it’s not just Australia Day.”

But Hockey said voters had “made their decision in 2007” by voting against the Howard government’s WorkChoices legislation and the subsequent Labor government and the Coalition “we respect their mandate”.

 

Apple’s Australian tax bill falls despite record revenues

 

Apple’s Australian tax bill for 2013 fell to just $36 million, despite record revenues of $6.1 billion at its local subsidiary.

Fairfax reports a Securities and Investments Commission documents show the company’s tax bill fell from $94 million in 2011 and $40 million in 2012, excluding rebates, deferrals or incremental tax payments.

The falling tax bill comes despite Apple’s Australian revenues growing 2%, from $5.99 billion a year earlier. The result saw Australian sales outperform other Asia-Pacific countries, which showed weaker growth or declines in revenue for the company.

The result comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development continues a push to reduce profit shifting by tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple.

 

Shares down on open

 

The Australian sharemarket is off to a sluggish start this morning. 

Despite some large Dow Jones names releasing ordinary earnings figures in the US overnight, Apple came out after the market closed and beat estimates.

“Apple sold around 10 million more iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2014 than analysts had been expecting and has forecast continued momentum going into 2015. It seems as though chief executive Tim Cook’s decision to compete with larger Android phones in Asia is paying off, with a 70% increase in Chinese sales revenue,” Rivkin chief executive Scott Schuberg said.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 14.7 points to 5532.5 points at 12.18pm AEDT. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.65%, or 291.49 points, to 17387.2 points. 

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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