The Federal Government’s controversial mining tax is set to become law after being passed by the Senate, paving the way for a tax cut for Australia’s 2.7 million small businesses.
Treasurer Wayne Swan called the legislation a “huge economic reform of our time”, but mining magnate Clive Palmer is expected to mount a legal challenge in an attempt to repeal it.
O’Connor promises to stand up for small firms
Brendan O’Connor, the new federal small business minister, has said that he is “very happy” to listen to the concerns of SME owners who feel that they are being crushed by larger rivals.
O’Connor said: ”We are pro-competition and we want to see that in the marketplace small businesses can thrive. If they put to me a case that for a variety of reasons they have challenges because of the way small business intersects with big business then I will be looking at it.”
Apple to pay out dividend
Apple is to pay its first dividend to investors since 1995, as well as buy back $US10 billion of its own shares.
The tech giant, which is sitting on a $100 billion cash stockpile, said it will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share from July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 18.62 points, or 0.1%, to 13,251.24. The Australian dollar rose to 106.09 US cents.