Coalition to save $31 billion in budget cuts; Construction activity falls in June quarter; Woolworths profit jumps 24%: Midday Roundup

The Coalition has announced it will save $31 billion in budget cuts in order to pay for its election promises.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey announced this morning the Coalition would save $31.6 billion through scrapping 12,000 jobs in public service, abolishing business compensation measures including the higher instant asset tax write-off and abolishing the schoolkids bonus.

“The coalition is absolutely committed to living within its means,” Hockey said, according to AAP.

“After six years of Labor getting every single budget number wrong, enough is enough.”

A further $1.6 billion will be saved by delaying the increased superannuation guarantee.

Construction activity falls in June quarter

Construction activity fell during the June quarter, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows total construction work fell 0.3% to $50.77 billion, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Construction work is now 0.9% weaker than the previous corresponding period.

Total building work, including homes and non-residential buildings, fell 0.6% from the March quarter.

Woolworths profit jumps 24%

Supermarket giant Woolworths has boosted its bottom line by a solid 24.4%, recording a full-year net profit of $2.26 billion.

The company’s core supermarkets category drove the growth, with pre-tax earnings for its Australian Food, Liquor and Petrol division up 8.7%.

Net profit before significant items increased 8% to $2.35 billion.

“This result shows Woolworths is delivering and will continue to deliver positive earnings growth into the future,” Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien told reporters this morning.

Shares drop on open

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, as the Western world grows increasingly concerned over the likely intervention in Syria.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark had fallen 55.1 points to 5086.1 just before midday.

The Dow Jones fell by 1.14% overnight, dropping 170.33 points to 14,776.13.


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