Government to delay carbon tax cuts: Midday roundup

The federal government has confirmed tax cuts to be funded by revenue from the carbon tax will be delayed in next week’s budget.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Greg Combet said today the government will defer the $1.4 billion worth of tax cuts until the carbon price rises above $25.40.

The tax cuts were scheduled to begin in 2015, but Combet told reporters in Sydney they will now be delayed.

“A lower carbon price also means a lower cost to households and businesses to cut our pollution,” Combet said. “It means we will still achieve our targeted greenhouse gas emission cuts.”

”Because there will be no additional anticipated increase in costs to households in 2015-16, with a lower carbon price forecast, the budget will defer an anticipated further round of additional related tax cuts.”

Virgin sell-off strategic move, Branson says

Billionaire Richard Branson has said he still may sell the rest of his stake in Virgin Australia, the Australian Financial Review has reported.

“I’m not too worried about whether we sell down most of our stakes,” Branson said, according to the publication.

“The 13% is pretty strategic in that it could be very valuable to a player one day, but it’s not that important from the Virgin Group’s point of view.”

Shares rise on solid offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, thanks to a solid lead from offshore markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 39.9 points or 0.8% to 5,183.6 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87 points or 0.6% to 15,056.2.


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