THE NEWS WRAP: Julia Gillard to reveal $12 billion budget blowout

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is set to use a speech at the Per Capita Institute think tank in Canberra to reveal a $12 billion forecast deficit in the federal budget this financial year, due to lower taxes from companies.


However, despite the massive shortfall, the Prime Minister is expected to rule out cuts to major new spending initiatives, including the Gonski school funding reforms or DisabilityCare.


“Put simply, spending is controlled, but the amount of tax money coming to the government is growing much slower than expected. As we make those decisions, let me be crystal clear about what we will and won’t do,” Gillard is set to say in the speech.


“Our nation cannot afford to leave children behind or to leave our nation’s future economy limping behind the pack, unable to attract the high-wage, high-skill jobs of the future … DisabilityCare must not be jeopardised.”


Rupert Murdoch to cash in on News Corp split


Rupert Murdoch’s remuneration is set to jump by nearly $4 million as a result of a split that will see News Corp divided into two separate companies in June.


Under the proposal, Murdoch is set to become chairman and chief executive of the 21st Century Fox corporation, which will control his media empire’s broadcasting and entertainment assets, as well as the executive chairman of the “new News Corp” which will control the company’s publishing assets.


While Murdoch’s base salary will remain at $US20.6 million for his role with both entities, his long-term incentives are set to increase from $US4 million to $US7.7 million.


James Packer gains approval for Sri Lankan casino


The Sri Lankan government has reportedly granted approval to gaming tycoon James Packer for a new casino in Colombo, according to a report in Sri Lanka’s Business Times.


Under the proposal, the $250 million Crown Colombo complex will include a 36-story casino and resort complex, to be built in the D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha district of Colombo.


A Crown spokesperson said the gaming giant is yet to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, and is evaluating a number of other offshore expansion opportunities.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.1% to 14712.6. The Aussie dollar is down to US102.82 cents.


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