THE NEWS WRAP: Abbott emphasises cutting red tape in budget reply speech

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has emphasised cutting red tape for small business, maintaining the carbon tax compensation and providing a modest company tax rate cut “when affordable” in his budget reply speech.

 

“The Coalition’s plan has two objectives: first, to take the budget pressure off Australian households; and second, to strengthen our economy so that, over time, there’s more to go round for everyone,” Abbott said.

 

“Far from cutting to the bone, we reserve the right to implement all of Labor’s cuts, if needed, because it will take time to undo all the damage this government has done. By keeping, if needed, all Labor’s budget cuts and by not implementing any of their budget spending measures unless specified, we will achieve the first duty of every government: namely, to preserve the nation’s finances.”

 

Telstra unveils TV plans

 

The head of Telstra’s media division, Rick Ellis, has outlined plans to use the company’s T-Box internet TV devices to screen TV content shortly after it first airs in the US, with the executive hinting the company could be willing to compete with broadcast TV networks for first-run rights to US shows.

 

“The traditional hold-back period between first play in the United States and then first play in another country is collapsing,” Ellis told The Australian.

 

“If there is premium content out of the US that Australians want then we see our role as securing it and getting it to customers.”

 

Ellis believes reducing the time between when a show first airs in the US and when it’s available to view legally in Australia is the key to reducing copyright violations.

 

“My sense is that the motivation to want to use BitTorrent or use peer-to-peer when I know I can get it legitimately in the timeframe I want it on the screen I want to view it I think is going to moderate that behaviour.”

 

Virgin Australia warns of earnings turbulence, won’t be banking on second-half profit

 

Virgin Australia has warned investors it won’t be banking the $82.5 million in underlying pre-tax profits it recorded last financial year, with its second-half results nose-diving towards a loss.

 

The airline blames the result, in part, on revenue losses relating to its move to replace its Navitaire reservation system with a new system called Sabre late last year.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.3% to 15233.2. After hitting an 11-month low of US97.98 cents, the Aussie dollar is back up to US98.22 cents.

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