Hockey accuses Treasury of botching budget; Telstra posts $2.1 billion profit; Midday Roundup

Hockey accuses Treasury of botching budget; Telstra posts $2.1 billion profit; Midday Roundup

Treasurer Joe Hockey has accused the Treasury and Finance departments of miscalculating the independent budget forecast during the Coalition’s federal election campaign, according to Fairfax.

In a radio interview yesterday, Hockey said the pre-election fiscal outlook (Pefo), which forecast a $30 billion deficit for 2013-14, report was “wrong”.

“Yes it was, because it didn’t properly account for various losses that needed to be addressed and various capital replenishments such as the Reserve Bank that needed to be addressed,” Hockey said.  

The departments of Treasury and Finance produce Pefo reports during election campaigns as an independent financial indicator for voters. It is produced under the charter of budget honesty introduced by peter Costello in 1996.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen hit back at Hockey’s statement, saying Hockey had trashed the charter.


Telstra posts $2.1 billion profit


Telstra’s profits have soared by 21.7% to $2.1 billion for the six months ending December 2014, up from $1.7 billion this time a year ago.

The telco’s strong results were in part driven by gains in the mobile space. Mobile revenue jumped by 9.6% to $5.3 billion for the six-month period, representing the strongest growth rate for Telstra in three years.

Telstra announced to shareholders its earning per share increased 23.4% to 16.9 cents, providing a dividend of 15 cents per share.

Telstra shares were trading at $6.50 at 12.00pm AEDT.


Shares down on open


Aussie shares have traded lower this morning, following a relatively quiet night’s trading in international markets.

“European markets largely held up, despite further indications of a disruptive Greek debt restructuring proposal from the new government,” said CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy in a statement.

“In contrast, US markets were muted, despite good reports from Time Warner, PepsiCo and NVIDIA. Oil and copper fell, along with previous metals, suggesting the materials and energy sectors may drag on the market.

But McCarthy said local factors will likely dominate today’s session as Australian companies continue to release half-year financial results.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 6.9 points to 5762.2 points at 12.04pm AEDT. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 6.62 points lower, down 0.04% to 17862.1 points.  


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