Treasurer Wayne Swan has claimed the Federal Government has strong community backing for its resources tax.
The Government is preparing to push the legislation through the Senate, after getting it through the lower house last year.
Swan told a press conference this morning that he was confident the Australian community backs the tax completely.
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“That’s because it’s a no-brainer to use massive mining profits to help those millions of businesses who aren’t in the fast lane,” he said in Canberra.
“I can also confidently say that I believe the Australian community is also increasingly on board.”
The Coalition continues to stand against the bill, and any of the bills using money saved by the tax, including a proposed cut in the company tax rate.
“In our patchwork economy, it is breathtakingly bad economic policy to be denying this tax relief, and instead writing an 11-figure cheque to booming mining companies instead,” Swan said.
Virgin confirms corporate restructure
Virgin Australia has confirmed a reshuffle of its corporate structure.
According to AAP, Virgin will follow through with its plans to split its international operations into a separate entity. The remaining part of the company will be wholly domestic, escaping regulations that require Australian operators flying internationally to be no more than 49% foreign owned.
Virgin said the conditions of the proposal have been satisfied.
Local shares fall after weak US lead
The Australian sharemarket has opened lower for the second consecutive day despite a small positive lead from the United States.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 13.4 points or 0.3% to 4264.4 at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar rose to $US1.05c.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 58.7 points or 0.4% to 13,252.8.
Vodafone Australia up for grabs: report
Vodafone Australia, the country’s third-largest telco, is up for grabs, according to a report in The Australian.
The report says China Telecom and NTT Docomo are among the companies looking at an information memorandum sent out to potential buyers.
A Vodafone spokesperson said the company was “fully committed” to its local operations.
Moody’s downgrades Macquarie
Meanwhile, Moody’s ratings agency has downgraded investment bank Macquarie, following a similar move by rival Fitch.
“Today’s rating actions reflect ongoing earnings challenges for Macquarie and the evolution of its business model against the backdrop of protracted weakness in financial markets,” Moody’s senior vice president Patrick Winsbury said.
“The actions come as part of a global sector review of banks and securities firms with capital markets operations.”