Joe Hockey has back-tracked on his previous suggestion parents who “double dip” by collecting a paid parental leave from the government and their employer are committing fraud.
During an interview with Channel Nine’s Laurie Oakes last week, Hockey appeared to suggest the practice of taking two separate payments amounted to fraud.
But in another interview with the Nine Network yesterday, Hockey denied he had agreed taking both payments was fraudulent.
“No, it’s not fraud,” Hockey agreed after being asked the same question four times, according to Fairfax.
The denial comes as Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann both admitted they had “double dipped” this week.
Stockbroking firm BBY collapses
Sydney-based stockbroker BBY has been placed into voluntary administration after its board failed to secure additional capital it needed from investors, reports Fairfax.
“I regret to inform staff that despite exhaustive efforts by the BBY board to secure investors to inject additional capital into BBY we have been unsuccessful,” read a letter by BBY executive chairman Glenn Rosewall to staff sent this morning.
“KPMG and PBB are working through the practicalities of what this means for our staff and clients.”
Ian Hall and Stephen Vaughan from KPMG have been appointed as voluntary administrators of BBY and a number of its subsidiaries.
Shares down on open
Aussie shares have traded lower this morning off the back of a flat lead from Wall Street at the end of last week.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said it’s not surprising investors have started the week in a “cautious mode” given weaker than expected economic data out of the US and ongoing concerns about Greece’s level of debt.
“Weaker than expected US industrial production during April lends weight to the view that the first Federal Reserve rate hike now seems at least several months away,” Spooner said in a statement.
“While this supports equity valuations, it also means that the outlook for world growth remains subdued. Any demand led recovery in commodity markets in particular looks some time off as yet.”
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was down 25.4 points to 5710.1 points at 11.50am AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 20.7 points lower, down 0.36 points to 5709.3 points.