THE NEWS WRAP: Swan says mining tax revenue will benefit small businesses

Labor has lashed out at the Coalition for opposing its mining tax, claiming that small businesses will be hurt if the levy is not imposed.

 

Treasurer Wayne Swan pointed out that revenue from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax will be used to reduce the tax rate for small businesses from 30% to 29%. SMEs would also receive an instant tax write off on all assets valued between $1000 and $6500.

 

Swan said: “Tony Abbott has again decided to kneel down at the feet of Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart, rather than stand up for Australian small businesses and workers.”

 

 

Huge trade deficit in January

 

Australia posted a surprise trade deficit in January, with the country posting its worst balance of exports and imports in two years.

 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there was a deficit of $670 million in goods and services traded in January, compared to a $1.3 billion surplus in December.

 

 

Coal expansion set to hurt SMEs

 

A proposed expansion to the mining industry will significantly damage Queensland businesses operating in the tourism and manufacturing industries, a leading economist has warned.

 

The$50 billion expansion of coal exports is strongly opposed by environmental groups due to the associated increase in shipping in the Great Barrier Reef, but there’s also set to be an economic cost.

 

Australia Institute director Dr Richard Denniss said that the new developments would further drive up the Australian dollar, hurting tourism and manufacturing firms. 

 

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.08 points, or 0.1%, to end at 12,922.02 on Friday. The Australian dollar fell to 105.70 US cents.

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