Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Political and economic straws

Mixed news round-up today.

In the Canberra Times, Michael Green analyses the health changes, while in a related story Dan Harrison comments on the bulk billing numbers. In another piece, David Gadiel and Jeremy Sammut (Public hospitals aren't 'free': so charge an accommodation fee) take a different perspective.

The National Party rebellion against Mr Abbott’s  paid parental leave scheme continues (Paid leave: Figures reveal city-rural gap). The Nats have a real problem. Economic and demographic change means that the electorates they represent are especially affected by some of the budget changes. Eighteen pilot areas have been selected for the work for the dole scheme, They cover the entire North Coast of NSW, including the seat (Cowper) of the Nationals’ Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker.

This is an analytical, not political comment. I think the electoral dynamics are going to be interesting to watch.

Pacific Brands has announced another profit downgrade, blaming it on the combination of the unseasonally warm weather with budget created uncertainties. It is one of a series of retail profit downgrades. I think that consumer confidence has been affected, that comes through from the consumer sentiment surveys, although the latest business sentiment results were stable after a previous fall. The data coming through does suggest a weakening economy, although you have to be careful in interpreting it all. 

Time to begin the day.  

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