Australia and the European Union could link their carbon trading schemes following a meeting between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Barroso praised the Government’s controversial carbon tax plans, saying that they were the most “cost efficient way” to reduce emissions.
He added that the EU’s own carbon trading system could link with Australia’s, although doubts have been raised over the viability of this due to exchange rate issues.
Argus slams IR policy
Don Argus, BHP’s former chairman, has become the latest business leader to attack the Government’s workplace laws.
Argus says that a “lazy” reform agenda on tax and industrial relations was wasting the resources boom and damaging future generations. He supported claims by business lobby groups that the Fair Work Act was hampering productivity.
Retailers labelled “protectionist”
Retailers who want to impose GST on overseas online retailers are “protectionist”, the productivity commissioner has claimed.
In a public hearing on the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the future of retailing, Philip Weickhardt said that changing the GST regime would not stop consumers buying from overseas sites.
European markets slumped by 4% overnight, with London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies dipping 3.58% to 5,102.58 points. The falls hit the Australian dollar, which was pushed down to 105.52 US cents.