THE NEWS WRAP: Rudd pitches for small business vote as Abbott cements lead

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a pitch for small business votes during the ALP campaign launch over the weekend, as the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition has established a strong lead over the government.


Rudd announced a policy to allow small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million to claim a tax deduction of up to $10,000 on asset purchases.


“We also want an Australia with vibrant small businesses, where your small business can become a medium-sized and then one of the big businesses of the future through the sheer power of your enterprise,” Rudd said.


However, the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition has established a commanding 54% to 46% lead a week out from the election, a swing that would see 14 Labor MPs lose their seats, including the former treasurer, Wayne Swan.


iiNet to set up unlimited broadband subsidiary


iiNet chief executive Michael Malone has unveiled plans to establish a second broadband brand, named Jive, which will offer unlimited broadband deals in selected areas.


“This is very much aimed at Telstra’s BigPond brand. We’re not aiming at TPG or Dodo here. It’s more about when a customer leaves BigPond, now they will have an alternative,” Malone says.


“So we are trying to avoid this idea that it’s a cheap and nasty version. Jive’s tagline is ‘One plan, one bill, always’ and that is certainly our intention. It’s about simplicity and quality for us.”


Directors fear low consumer confidence is the new normal


Company directors representing some of Australia’s largest companies fear that weak consumer confidence would remain despite the federal election, according to The Australian.


“I do genuinely think that people are starting to change behaviour; I think people genuinely are concerned about the future,” CSL and Transurban director Christine O’Reilly says.


“We talk about policy giving us long-term views. I think people are taking a very long-term view whereas there was a time that they had a great deal of short-termism in their spending.


“(Now) it’s about super and it’s about saving and it’s about driving down debt and it’s about leaving something in the cupboard for hard times, and I think it will take a while to change that.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 14810.31. The Aussie dollar is up to US89.37 cents.


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