THE NEWS WRAP: GST-free threshold to stay until at least March

A decision on whether to lower or abandon the GST-free threshold on overseas purchases has been delayed until March next year, following a meeting between Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and his state counterparts.

 

The move means Australian consumers will still be able to enjoy GST-free imports over Christmas.

 

However, following strong lobbying from retailers, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says there is a growing consensus among state treasurers that the rule needs to change.

 

“I don’t expect to win a popularity contest on the back of this, [but] it is fair for our local retailers. The tax system needs to be brought into the modern age and we’re prepared to argue for it,” Baird says.

 

Bitcoin crosses $US1000

 

The price of bitcoin has crossed $US1000 on Wednesday, hitting a high of $US1073 on the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange.

 

The increase has been credited to a US Senate hearing last week, which advocates say granted the digital currency more legitimacy, as well as increased acceptance from the general public.

 

“It isn’t just the bitcoin community saying that bitcoin is used for good things and there’s a lot of great potential, we have members of Congress and government agencies who all agree,” Bitcoin Foundation spokeswoman Jinyoung Lee Englund says.

 

Murray Goulburn launches legal challenge over Saputo bid for Warrnambool

 

Dairy giant Murray Goulburn has lodged an application with the Takeovers Panel attempting to block Saputo from processing acceptances to its bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.

 

Saputo originally promised WCB shareholders a franking credit of up to 50 cents a share, but replaced the offer in its most recent bid with a 20 cents a share bonus payment if Saputo gains 50% of the stock in WCB.

 

Murray Goulburn alleges this contravenes “truth in takeover” legislation, and is also seeking orders restraining Saputo from varying its bid.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 16102.23. The Aussie dollar is at US 90.80 cents.

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