THE NEWS WRAP: Coalition blames carbon tax for BHP delay but BHP points to Aussie dollar

A political row has broken out over the decision by BHP Billiton to delay its $30 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam mine, with the federal opposition claiming that the carbon tax is partially to blame.

 

Coalition leader Tony Abbott said that the mining and carbon taxes were making Australia “less competitive” and were to blame for the halt to the South Australian resources project.

 

However, this is contradicted by the government and BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers, who blamed the strong Australian dollar and rising capital costs.

 

Australians gloomy over prospects: Report

 

Australians are far more pessimistic over their finances and job security than many other developed countries, despite the relative health of the domestic economy.

 

Global advisory firm Towers Watson’s study found that just 42% of Australians have confidence in their leaders at the moment.

 

PayPal expands offline

 

PayPal is ramping up its presence in bricks and mortar retail outlets, after striking a deal that will see it gain a foothold in seven million US stores.

 

In a sign of what may come for Australian retailers, customers with Discover Financial Services cards will be able to pay via PayPal with either cards or mobile phones from early next year.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 30.82 points, or 0.2%, to 13,172.76. The Australian dollar was up to US105 cents.

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