Breaking News | 16 May

Reverend Tim Costello Photo Courtesy: Andrew M Leong/Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Flickr

By Leon Elia


World Vision Australia Chief, Reverend Tim Costello has weighed in on the GST debate saying it should include fresh food and education. His opinion on the GST’s base has completely reversed since it was implemented by his brother, Peter Costello.

The state governments are furious at being placed in a position to either raise the tax, or broaden it’s base due to the federal government cutting $80 billion out of school and hospitals over the next decade.

Mr Costello said there should be an “an adult conversation” about expanding the GST to “the broadest base possible…To actually fund a Gonski (schools reform) and national disability scheme, to not smash our promises to the world’s poor as we have done in the foreign aid budget.”

“If you broaden the base there’s $15bn of recurrent savings and that choice, when it’s only $3.5bn from the Medicare co-payment and a $1.3bn saving over four years from the Newstart. You’ve actually got choices that reflect moral priorities.

“The starting principle should be don’t exclude anything because it’s simpler, clearer and more transparent, and then build that back into the compensation for those that are poor.”

“I think a broadening of the GST rather than raising the rate is probably the fairest way. Australia has one of the narrowest bases in the OECD,” he said.

The state governments have agreed to meet on Sunday to form a reply to what they believe is the federal government’s attempt to force them to raise or broaden the tax’s base.

Queensland premier Campbell Newman said  “They see the GST issue is a naked attempt by the federal government to get the states and territories essentially to wear a political issue,” Mr Newman said.

“We don’t want to impose extra taxes, higher taxes on people, particularly when it’s a federal government budgetary issue that’s prompting this whole thing.”

When the GST was implemented in 2000, Reverend Costello told the ABC “I strongly supported GST not going on food and (was) very glad about that outcome, but when nearly 26 per cent of Australians now draw their primary source of income from social security, when the tax base is narrowing fast, if we’re going to support the poor long term, we did have to broaden the tax base,”

According to the Australian Financial Review former Prime Minister John Howard said broadening the GST base was “overwhelmingly sensible,”

“If the GST had applied to food, as it should have – and it would have but for the actions of the Senate – we would have now seen about $10 billion to $11 billion a year at least flowing to the states,”

The Australian quoted former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett saying “I have advocated for a long time, whether you like it or not, we should broaden the GST,”

“Both parties said no to it in the election campaign and that is to Australia’s detriment. If you applied it to everything you would probably raise another $40 billion.”



Socceroos World Cup Squad Named

The Socceroos’  2010 FIFA World Cup jet, Photo Courtesy: Maarten Visser

By Olivia Cvetanovski

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou  has named the 30-man squad for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. The team are in Group B and will come up against rivals, Spain, Netherlands and Chile. It will be one desperate, wild ride ahead, crucial for survival for these boys.

“Hopping Our Way Into History” is the team’s official slogan and will be splashed on the team bus for the Socceroo’s, which will drive our boys on tour through Brazil.

The official Socceroos 2014 squad for the tour of the cup consists of:

Mark BIRIGHITTI (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA), Eugene GALEKOVIC (Adelaide United FC, AUSTRALIA), Mitchell LANGERAK (B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY), Mat RYAN (Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM)

Jason DAVIDSON (SC Heracles Almelo, NETHERLANDS), Ivan FRANJIC (Brisbane Roar FC, AUSTRALIA), Curtis GOOD (Dundee United FC, SCOTLAND), Ryan McGOWAN (Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, CHINA), Matthew SPIRANOVIC (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA), Alex WILKINSON (Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC), Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA), Bailey WRIGHT (Preston North End FC, ENGLAND)

Oliver BOZANIC (FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND), Mark BRESCIANO (Al Gharafa, QATAR), Joshua BRILLANTE (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA), James HOLLAND (FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA), Mile JEDINAK (Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND), Massimo LUONGO (Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND), Matthew McKAY (Brisbane ROAR FC, AUSTRALIA), Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA), Tommy OAR (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS), Tommy ROGIC (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA), Adam SAROTA (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS), James TROISI (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA), Dario VIDOSIC (FC Sion, SWITZERLAND)

Tim CAHILL (New York Red Bulls, USA), Ben HALLORAN (Fortuna Dusseldorf, GERMANY), Josh KENNEDY (Nagoya Grampus 8, JAPAN), Matthew LECKIE (FSV Frankfurt 1899, GERMANY), Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)

Postecoglou has taken a risk with the young squad, aiming for the development of the future generation of Australian football.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off on Thursday 12th June, and will end Sunday 13th, July.

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