Abbott rules out changes on GST; David Jones signs Phase Eight brand: Midday Roundup

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he won’t be pursuing any change to the GST, despite protests from state leaders.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Business Spectator this morning the “GST won’t change, full stop, end of story”.

But state leaders, such as ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, have said the rate should at least come under debate.

“The problem is the commonwealth has to take all the political heat on it and then distribute the money to the states,” Gallagaher told ABC radio today.

“If there is to be any rational discussion about the GST, all states and territories need to back in any federal government that’s prepared to examine and look at whether the rate does need to go up or exemptions need to change.”

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has also told ABC television he believes the GST rate should be changed.

“Unfortunately, one of the tough jobs Tony Abbott is going to have is to step up to the plate and take some leadership on the federation and front and centre of that will be the GST issue,” he said.

“I’m sure he doesn’t want to do that, but I don’t think he has much choice.”

David Jones signs Phase Eight brand

David Jones has signed an exclusive agreement with British fashion brand Phase Eight.

“Today’s announcement reflects David Jones’ continuing strategy to bring the Australian customer the best in international brands across a range of price points,” David Jones said in a statement.

The brand was founded in 1979, and has expanded globally through Europe and the Middle East. The David Jones deal is its first expansion into Asia Pacific.

Shares open flat on weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly lower this morning, after a relatively calm evening on offshore markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.3% or 17 points to 5278.1 at 11.40 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40 points or 0.3% to 15636.6.


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