Peter Costello calls Coalition’s approach to tax a “morbid joke”; M2 buys Kiwi telco Call Plus: Midday Roundup

Peter Costello calls Coalition’s approach to tax a “morbid joke”; M2 buys Kiwi telco Call Plus: Midday Roundup

Former Treasurer Peter Costello has urged the Abbott government to rethink its approach to the nation’s taxes, mocking his former colleagues’ promises of a lower, simpler and fairer tax system since the release of the government’s tax discussion paper.

“Ever since we have been flooded with demands for taxes that are higher, more complicated and less economic,” Costello wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph today.

“’Lower, simpler, fairer’, is looking like a morbid joke.”

Costello is particularly concerned about discussions over a potential bank deposits tax and cracking down on tax-avoiding multinational corporations, which he says are attempts to redistribute wealth.

“The welfare system is the way to redistribute wealth,” he said. “This is not the role of the tax system.”

“The tax system is there to raise government revenue at the lowest cost in the most efficient way doing the least damage to the economy.”

But News Corp reports Treasurer Joe Hockey has already hit back at Costello for entering the fray.

“Everyone’s entitled to give free advice and frankly, that’s what it’s worth – it’s free advice,” he said.

“I would suggest that people stop looking back to what it was and focus on the challenges of today and tomorrow, no matter who they are.”


M2 buys Kiwi telco Call Plus


Melbourne-based telecommunications provider M2, owner of internet service providers Dodo and iPrimus, has bought New Zealand telco Call Plus for $245 million.

M2 told its shareholders it will acquire 100% of the Call Plus Group, the third largest Kiwi telecommunications company, through fully underwritten multi-year loans.

The deal is expected to add more than NZ$250 million to revenue and NZ$45 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for M2 in the next financial year.

Shareholders responded positively to news of the deal, with the price of M2 shares jumping to $11.29 at the time of publication.


Shares flat


The Aussie stock market opened lower this morning but has attempted to claw back come early losses.

“The miners are once again weighing down the heaviest on the market today,” said Chris Conway, head of research at Australian Stock Report.

“But it appears that some bargain hunters are moving back into the big names.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 14.2 points to 5946.1 points at 12:15pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.45%, falling 80.61 points to 17,977 points.


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