THE NEWS WRAP: Medicare levy increase could hurt retailers, Myer boss warns

Myer chief executive Bernie Brooks has warned the Gillard government its proposed increase in the Medicare levy surcharge, which will fund the government’s national disability insurance scheme, could hurt retailers.

 

“Another 0.5% on the Medicare levy is not good for our customers and not good for the discretionary income world, and ideally that’s another one that may have an impact,” Brooks says.

 

“Remember, a lot of our customers have equity portfolios, they’ve got superannuation and they get the bills each week, and suddenly the Medicare levy costs them another $300 from July next year. That’s $300 they might have spent with us.”

 

Vodafone nearly breached $3 billion loan agreement, was bailed out by UK parent

 

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia came close to breaching a $3 billion loan agreement earlier this year, amid an exodus of subscribers, with the company bailed out by its UK-based parent, Vodafone Group.

 

According to filings with the corporate regulator, VHA is in ongoing negotiations with the international banking syndicate after Vodafone Group paid $173 million.

 

VHA also reported losses of $899 million for calendar year 2012, up from $420 million in 2011, with current liabilities now at $3.9 billion.

 

Telstra adds 600,000 devices in less than one quarter

 

Telstra has announced it has added 600,000 new devices to its 4G mobile network since announcing its half-yearly profit in February, with the total growing 1.5 million to 2.1 million devices in less than a quarter.

 

The total includes 1.4 million handsets and 150,000 tablets, with the company counting each device as a “customer”.

 

“We have continued revenue, profit and customer growth. Our strategic focus remains unchanged, and, most importantly, we are on track for full-year guidance,” says Telstra’s chief financial officer Mark Hall.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.9% to 14701 points. The Aussie dollar is down to US102.76 cents.

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