Victorian government to cut payroll tax; Debt levy risks shock to system; Online retail sales soar: Midday Roundup

The Victorian government will cut payroll tax to 4.85% from July 1.

The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the move will save businesses more than $234 million over four years.

“Victorian employers will receive a boost that helps stimulates growth and increases the incentive to employ more people. Combined with the major infrastructure announcements and a strong budgetary position underpinned by the forecast surplus of $1.3 billion, the attraction of doing business in Victoria will be enhanced by this payroll tax cut,” VECCI chief executive Mark Stone said in a statement.

Deficit levy risks shock to system: Shepherd

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s proposed deficit levy will have no economic benefit, according to former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello.

This comes as Commission of Audit chief Tony Shepherd warns implementing a levy alongside audit recommendations risks “shocking the system”.

Polls show support for the Coalition is at its lowest since December 2009.

NAB online retail sales up

NAB’s online retail sales index for March reveals gains for most categories, particularly groceries and liquor, while indicating sales for personal and recreational goods and daily deals continue to shrink.

According to the index, Australians spent up to $15.2 billion on online retail over the past year.

Traditional bricks-and-mortar sales are also up, with February results showing a momentum of about +0.7 percent.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, following modest gains in the US sharemarket on Monday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 9.3 points to 5471.5 points at 12.11pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 17.66 points or 0.11% higher, at 16530.6 points.


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