Four premiers support GST hike; ASIC issues $10,200 fine for misleading SMSF ads: Midday Roundup

Four premiers support GST hike; ASIC issues $10,200 fine for misleading SMSF ads: Midday Roundup

At least four state premiers have indicated they may support reform to the goods and services tax, ahead of a meeting of the nation’s leaders tomorrow.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has floated the proposal of increasing the rate of the GST to 15% as a means of raising additional government revenue to cover costs such as healthcare.

The Australian reports South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has indicated he is open to Baird’s proposal, while Tasmanian Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Premier Will Hodgman have also said they will listen to those in favour of reform.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has said he doesn’t support lifting the rate of the GST, but is open to other methods of reforming the tax, including broadening its base to include fresh food.

“I don’t think it’s beyond the capacity of state premiers and treasurers to actually redesign a GST which is fair to all parties,” Barnett said.

“That’s something I think the states should take on and then in a united way present a revised proposal to the federal government. If politics stays out of it for a while it’s not beyond the wit of the states to actually redesign the system.”


ASIC fines Omniwealth $10,200 fine for misleading SMSF ads


Omniwealth has been hit with a $10,200 fine over online ads for self-managed super funds that the corporate watchdog found to be potentially misleading.

The fine relates to a page on the financial services provider’s website about the benefits of investing in SMSFs. The page compared the performance of a geared property investment within a SMSF with the performance of an ungeared equity investment, also held in a SMSF.

Omniwealth also promoted the content of the page on social media with claims investing in property in a SMSF has tax, leverage and diversification benefits to the investor.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said in a statement today it was concerned the page on the Omniwealth website did not give a balanced message about the returns, benefits and risks of using a SMSF to invest in property. ASIC was particularly concerned the uncertainty of forecasts was not clear to potential investors.

“Making appropriate investment decisions is one of the most important responsibilities of SMSF trustees,” said ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell in the statement.

“ASIC is determined that SMSF trustees get accurate information and are not mislead by advertising, including on websites and through social media.”


Cautious optimism to continue in sharemarket


Continued optimism about Europe provided a boost for local markets overnight, according to chief market strategist at CMC Markets, Michael McCarthy, who said in a statement this morning more gains for Asia Pacific shares are likely today.

But McCarthy said there are still some concerns about US stocks reporting weaker than expected revenues and earnings.

“Additionally, a stronger USD is casting a shadow, and resulting weakness in commodity prices may curtail any lift in share markets,” he said.

“Of particular concern to Australian investors is the hammering of the gold price to five year lows. A stronger USD takes some of the blame, but market talk of a significant sell order at yesterday’s Asian open is also weighing on sentiment. Lower oil and copper prices are pointing to more bearish industrial sentiment, and the generally weaker commodity outlook may cause local underperformance today despite futures market indications of a modest jump at the open.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 0.1%, rising 4.1 points to 5691 points at 12.01pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.08%, rising 13.96 points to 18100.4 points.


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