THE NEWS WRAP: Julia Gillard backs tax reform for manufacturers

Mark McInnes, chief executive of retail group Premier Investments, has attacked the high rental prices paid by stores, claiming that there was an “adversarial” relationship between retailers and landlords.


McInnes says that the company had won a 30% reduction on its rates after threatening to close one of its Portmans stores. The group, which yesterday revealed a 49% drop in profit, also includes Peter Alexander and Just Jeans.


”It’s not in our shareholders’ interest to run a loss-making store where the only person making profit out of our sales is the landlord,” says McInnes.


Gillard backs tax reform for manufacturers


Julia Gillard has proposed a re-jig of the corporate tax system to give manufacturers more incentives to innovate and develop new markets.


The Prime Minister, speaking at an Australian Industry Group function, said that she wanted next month’s tax forum to discuss reforms to help manufacturers hit by the strong Australian dollar.


“We need to be sure Australia’s business tax system doesn’t hold industry back,” she said.


“When the tax system hinders investment in a struggling business or discourages lending to a business with a new idea, it does more than add to patchwork pressures – it harms national productivity as well.”


Qantas ground staff to strike today


Qantas ground staff will take part in a four-hour strike today that is expected to impact 6,000 domestic air passengers.


The strike, over pay and conditions, has cancelled or delayed 55 flights today. Unions have accused the airline of locking out members wanting to take part in the strike, saying that the move will worsen the situation for passengers




The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 109.44 points, or 0.95%, to 11,399.65. The Australian dollar slipped to 102.25 US cents.


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