Government debt tipped to exceed $580 billion by 2050, Greens paid parental leave scheme to be funded by big business: Midday Roundup

Federal and state budget deficits are set to continuing ballooning, with a PricewaterhouseCoopers report predicting the combined total will hit $213.5 billion by 2040, unless spending cuts, tax cuts and productivity reforms are implemented.

PwC’s report on protecting Australia’s prosperity found after 22 years of growth, Australia is facing “huge economic and social challenges”.

By 2050, the combined deficit is predicted to be even higher, as PwC estimates it could reach $583.1 billion, representing 77.9% of GDP.

PwC chief executive Luke Sayers says Australia faces a future of “reduced living standards and poorer community services”.

“Without expenditure constraint and tax reform, any surplus will be short lived and we will see deficits growing strongly for at least a generation. Another global economic shock could tip us into disaster.

“Even without a major downturn, the longer-term picture is bleak. Deficits of this magnitude are ultimately unsustainable and would challenge Australia’s social fabric,” he says.

Greens paid parental leave scheme to be funded by big business

The Greens have released a new paid parental leave scheme, which closely reflects the Coalition’s, as big business looks likely to bear the brunt of the costs after the next election.

Under The Greens’ policy, primary carers on salaries of up to $100,000 would receive 26 weeks of pay at their full wage.

Like the Coalition’s proposal, the majority of the funding would come from a 1.5% levy on big business, with the rest coming from general government revenue.

The Greens’ scheme has been estimated by the Parliamentary Budget Office to cost taxpayers $1.9 billion on top of the levy.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have once again exceeded the magical 5000 mark, as an early rise in the gold price buoyed resources stocks.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 18.5 points to 5020.4 just before midday.

The health care and materials sectors were preforming well this morning, up 124.2 and 81.6 points respectively.

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