Category : Uncategorized
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
United States President George W. Bush delivered his annual State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
Category : Uncategorized
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
United States President George W. Bush delivered his annual State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
Category : Uncategorized
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The United States Geological Survey said a 6.1 Mw earthquake struck on Thursday, at 01:21:34 p.m. local time (6:21:34 p.m. UTC) in northern Costa Rica, a Central American country, 30 kilometres (19 mi) NNW of San José and near the volcano Poás.
The epicenter was at 20 miles (32 kilometers) north-northwest of San Jose at a depth of 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers), with Coordinate 10° 11? 49.2? N, 84° 9? 32.4? W, and Decimal 10.197,-84.159. Causing widespread panic and damage, it was felt all over Costa Rica as well as in southern central Nicaragua, and was the strongest to shake Costa Rica in about 150 years.
“Today is a day of mourning for Costa Ricans,” President Oscar Arias Sanchez said. “These losses of life fill us with pain; our prayers will be for their families, hundreds of families had seen serious damage to their homes,” Arias added. Originally seventeen people, including three children, were reported killed but was later decreased to 5 fatalities. About 42 were reported missing, at least 32 were injured and 2,450 people affected.
The quake toll jumped to 34 dead, 64 missing, on Saturday, while emergency workers rescued at least 200 stranded tourists in Varablanca hotel, according to Ministry of Infrastructure spokeswoman Silvia Chaves.
Amid problems of mudslides, cracked roads, tumbling rocks and fallen trees, National Social Security and Health agency, Red Cross rescue workers, firemen and police rushed Friday to evacuate about 600 people. Half of them were foreign tourists stranded in La Paz Waterfall Gardens eco-resort in Vara Blanca, and others were trapped by boulders and earth, when mountain roads in Costa Rica blocked two villages of Vara Blanca and Cinchona. The main CNE warehouse containing relief items (food, mattresses), for distribution to the victims, was burned, while the second airport in San Jose, is now closed.
Most of the victims died when part of the hillside collapsed and a landslide occurred near the La Paz waterfall at Vara Blanca, on the flanks of the volcano Poás. The Poas Volcano National Park was utterly destroyed and the La Paz waterfall road was torn, causing about 300 tourists trapped. At least 400 people were evacuated from the area in rescue helicopters.
Constant 2,000 aftershocks (1,200 through early Friday in the towns of San Pedro de Poas and Vara Blanca), complicated the rescue and emergency missions for stranded people in mountainous central zones. National Emergency Commission official Victor Falla said that there were small tremors every couple of minutes. “It’s shaking right now,” he added. 1,244 people were displaced, and 1,078 people are living in shelters. In addition, a hotel, houses, roads, and vehicles were damaged, and a couple of bridges were destroyed. The town of Cinchona was heavily hit, and all of the buildings there were heavily damaged. Power was temporarily disrupted in San José. “There are many buses and many vehicles that are trapped,” deputy public safety minister Jose Torres said.
In the central valley, populated by 2.5 million of the country’s four million inhabitants, the National Emergency Board declared an emergency in the metropolitan area including San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia. The earthquake hit strongest the remote area near Alajuela. Several homes collapsed and major highways were still blocked.
A team of 34 U.S. military personnel and four Black Hawk helicopters from Honduras-based Joint Task Force-Bravo was sent on Friday by the U.S. Government to assist Costa Rican rescue workers, which include 400 volunteers and Red Cross personnel, who were dispensing aid in 15 communities. Colombia and China had also offered assistance to quake victims. The U.S. Army and Air Force aviation crews, rescue, medical and support personnel, is coordinating with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) in the rescue efforts. At least 150 stranded tourists from the United States, France, Canada and Spain, were finally rescued on Friday.
Category : Crafts
By Albert Connors
Rene Lacoste was one of the best known French tennis players of all time. He won two Wimbeldon singles titles in 1925 and 1928, as well as 2 US Opens, 2 Davis Cup championships and three French Opens.
Beyond tennis, Lacoste is perhaps even better known worldwide for the famous tennis shirt that bears his name. But the road that leads up to his classic shirt is worth exploring.
As a young man, Rene Lacoste was on the brink of going to the Polytechnique; the most famous engineering school in France. This was considered a risky move by any stretch of the imagination, but even more so in 1922 during the amateur era of tennis.The competitive circuits at that time drew very little money. In a miraculous act of faith, Rene’s father allowed him to pursue his ambitions in tennis.
Lacoste would quickly cement his reputation as a studious player. He would practice tennis obsessively, hitting the ball against the walls of his family home for so long, the walls needed repair. Interestingly, Lacoste was not even considered a ‘natural talent’ at tennis. He would compensate for this by studying his opponent’s game in such detail that he could formulate a custom strategy to attack the weaknesses for that particular player. Lacoste even incorporated weight training into his tennis practice. Such comprehensive workouts were unheard of at that time. Lacoste was actually criticized by his own trainer for training too much. When his coach told him to take a break, Lacoste invented the first automated ball throwing machine.
Lacoste was known by his opponents as a grueling player whose main strategy was to simply stay at the back of the court and return the ball within the lines until his opponent made a mistake. Considered a ‘boring’ player by some, his conservative strategy paid off. Lacoste went on to win two Wimbledons , three French Opens and two US Open titles.
Lacoste earned the nickname ‘alligator’ for an alligator suitcase that he spotted in a Boston shop window. Lacoste bet his team captain that if he won the match, the team captain would buy him the bag. Lacoste didn’t win the match, but the alligator nickname stuck (better known as ‘crocodile’ in France). This was partly due to the coincidence that the nickname was also a metaphor for Lacoste’s tenacious style of playing; like an alligator who wouldn’t release its grip. The nickname was so apt that Robert George, a friend of Lacoste’s, actually embroidered an alligator into a shirt and gave it to Lacoste as a gift. This gift gave Lacoste the idea to create a line of sport shirts that had the alligator logo sewn into them . This was perhaps the first time in history a logo was ever sewn into the outside of an article of clothing.
Rene Lacoste retired from tennis at 25 years of age, after suffering from a chronic respiratory ailment. He went on to found The Societe Chemise Lacoste, which began producing the some of the shirts that Lacoste had been wearing on the court. The shirt did well enough but it only came in long sleeves and was white, with a stiff collar.
It wasn’t until 1951 when Lacoste started manufacturing the shirt in more colors and styles that sales really began to take off. One of the things that facilitated sales early on was the solid knit construction of the shirts, made to handle lots of activity. It was perhaps one of the first examples of ‘high performance’ sport clothing. In the mid sixties, Lacoste cemented his reputation as an inventor by creating the first all metal tennis racquet, later used my tennis pro Jimmy Connors.
By 1960, Lacoste teamed up with David Crystal who owned Izod clothing, and the sales momentum increased to the point in the late 70s and early 80s when Izod/Lacoste was perhaps the most popular shirt in the pop culture. Rebounding from the era of the seventies, the ‘preppy’ look became intensely popular. The sporty Izod/ Lacoste design was sought after with the alligator logo in particular being seen as a desirable status symbol.
In the early 90s, David Crystal began to run into financial trouble from other poor investments he had made. As a result, Izod sold its share of Lacoste to a French company and the Lacoste sales began to falter. Rene Lacoste died in 1996 at the age of 92. His son Bernard, now head of the company, hired Rene Lemaire, a new fashion designer, to reinvigorate the brand name and its logo. Under Lemaire’s watch, Lacoste has enjoyed a strong rebound in sales worldwide.
In the end, the Lacoste line of clothing has proven to be as tenacious as its namesake, the original Crocodile himself, Rene Lacoste.
About the Author: This article was written by Albert Conners. Albert researches stories behind fashion trends and for inspiration shops at his favorite
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Category : Uncategorized
Saturday, May 21, 2005
In an effort to ease complaints by the U.S. and Europe about a heavy influx of low priced Chinese goods, China will raise export tariffs on 74 categories of textile products in June. This follows plans from the U.S. to impose quotas on Chinese textiles and clothing.
Products likely to see an increase from the Chinese move include synthetic fiber shirts, trousers, knit shirts and blouses, cotton shirts, and combined cotton yarn. Last week, similar restrictions were imposed by the U.S. on cotton trousers, knit shirts, and underwear. Currently, a 2.5 cent charge per item is imposed; the new tariff will raise this to the equivalent of 12 cents per piece now. While this is a fourfold increase, it is not expected to affect consumer prices. Because of this, some doubt the tariff will have any effect on correcting the trade imbalance.
This move is in response to U.S. trade quotas imposed due to concerns that increased Chinese goods would put U.S. textile manufacturers out of business. According to Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a textile industry group in the U.S., the move will preserve 10,000 U.S. jobs. The new U.S. trade quota will limit the growth of Chinese textile imports to 7.5 percent compared with shipments over the past year.
Prior to January 1, a global quota system helped regulate the trade. With the quota system gone, fears have arisen that a flood of Chinese goods could undercut U.S. competitiveness in the market. China is able to market its goods cheaply due to an artificially weak yuan. The U.S. Treasury criticized the China yuan policy as “highly distortionary”, posing a major risk to China’s economy itself and to global economic growth. They challenged China to revalue its currency to bring it to a level they believe will allow fairer competition between global manufacturers.
China has disputed the charges of the U.S. Treasury. Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said, “I believe they are not reasonable”.
Laura Jones, a representative of large retailers, also criticized the move, saying “These restrictions on imports from China will do absolutely nothing to help the U.S. textile industry — and the government knows it.”
China has seen a boom in economic growth in recent years due to growing trade surpluses with the West, but economists worry that the trade gap will cause longer term global economic problems. China’s textile and apparel exports are the most noteworthy example, with exports up over 1,000 percent in some categories this year and the rapid loss of marketshare and jobs by U.S. textile manufacturers.
Beginning in 1978, the Chinese economy has been transforming from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy to more of a free market style system, under the rigid political control of Communist Party of China.
To this end, the government has leveraged foreign trade to stimulate economic growth. The result has been a fourfold increase in GDP, making China the sixth largest economy in the world. By 2012 the People’s Republic of China may have the highest GDP in the world.
According to U.S. statistics, from 1999 to 2004 China’s trade surplus with the U.S. doubled to $170 billion. Wal-Mart is China’s seventh largest export partner, just ahead of the United Kingdom.
However, the gains from their “socialist market economy” have not been without problems. The Chinese leadership has often experienced the worst results of socialism and capitalism: bureaucracy, lassitude, corruption, and inflation. Inflation rates have been an on-going challenge, reaching as high as 17% in 1995.
Environmental deterioration is a longer-term threat to economic growth. In 1998, the World Health Organization reported that China had seven of the 10 most-polluted cities on Earth. Another concern among some economists is that China’s economy is over-heating, and due to its global economic expansion this could have major repercussions among other nations.
Typically, wages have been low and working conditions poor, with workers living in restrictive dormitories and working at boring factory jobs. However, recent labor shortages have started improving conditions, and raising the minimum wage towards the equivalent of 100-150 US dollars per month. The labor shortages are in part a result of a demographic trend caused by strict family planning.
Category : Uncategorized
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Internet has already brought great things to the world, but has also brought spam, phishing, scamming, etc. We all have seen them across the Internet. They promise money, weight loss, or other things a person may strive for, but they usually amount to only a lighter pocket. Online advertising has become something that the increasingly Internet-reliant society has become used to, as well as more aware of. As this is true, online ads have become more intricate and deceptive in recent years.
However, a certain type of advertisement has arisen recently, and has become more deceptive than any other Internet ad, and has tricked many users into credit card charges. These sites claim to be news websites that preach a “miracle product”, and they offer a free trial, and then charge the user’s credit card a large amount of money without informing them after the trial ends. These sites appear to be operating under one venture and have caught ad pages of high-traffic websites by storm. In this report, Wikinews’ Tjc6 investigates news advertisement sites.
These Internet ads work in different ways:
Hypothetically speaking, a reader is browsing the web, and then happens to come across something that they believe is too good to be true. A link on one of these high-traffic pages promises white teeth, weight loss, or huge profits from working at home part-time. Out of curiosity, they click on the link.
This is the way that people are attracted to these fake news sites on the internet. The domain owners draw in customers by purchasing advertising on some of the World Wide Web’s most visited pages. Curious users click and are led to what they believe is a news article. From anti-aging to shedding weight, these “articles” from non-existant newspapers and television stations depict a skeptical news reporter trying a product because they were instructed to by a superior.
As the user reads on, they find that the “reporter” miraculously achieves significant weight loss, teeth whitening, or other general health and beauty improvement. The reporter states that the reader can get the same results as they did by using a “free trial” of the product.
Next, the user looks to the bottom of the page, where there seems to be a set of user comments, all of them praising the product or products that are advertised — this is where we first see something suspicious. Across several of these false articles, the comments appear to show the exact same text, sometimes with even the same usernames as other sites.
There is obviously some kind of correlation. Although this appears to be true, most users who purchase these products do not look at multiple versions of these similar pages of what appears to be a fast-growing network of interconnected fake news sites.
Once customers have convinced themselves into buying the product, they are led to a product (or products) website which promises a free trial for a very low price. What they do not know about this, however, is that they are giving their credit card data to a company that will charge it automatically after the trial ends. In about 14 days, the user receives a charge on their credit card for an excessive amount of money, usually from about $80 to $100 (USD). All attempts to contact these companies and cancel their shipments usually prove to be futile.
What these sites have is a large amount of legal copy located at the bottom of each site, stating their right to charge the user. This site, a fake news article claiming to offer teeth-whitening benefits, has several paragraphs of fine print, including this: “…Upon signing up for the 10 day trial membership you will be charged up to $4.97 depending on various shipping and initial offer promotions at that time but not more than $4.97 upon signing. If not cancelled, you will be charged $89.97 upon completion of the 10 day trial period. Monthly thereafter or 30 days from the original order date, the charge will reoccur monthly at a total of $89.97 until cancelled…,” the site says.
Practices like this have alerted the Better Business Bureau, an American organization that studies and reports on the reliability and practices of US businesses. In a press release, a spokesman from the BBB spoke out against sites like this. “Many businesses across the country are using the same selling model for their products: They lure customers in with claimed celebrity endorsements and free trial offers, and then lock them in by making it extremely difficult to cancel the automatic delivery of more products every month…,” said the report that denounced the websites.
When a user looks at several of these sites, they notice that all of them have the same exact structure. Because of this, Wikinews decided to look into where some of the domains were owned, and if they were all in fact part of one company.
However, the results that Wikinews found were ones that were not expected. Out of the three random websites that were found in Internet ads, all using similar designs and methods to attract the customers, came from three different locations in three countries and two separate continents. The first came from Scottsdale, in the United States, while the next two came from Vancouver and Hamburg. There is no location correlation, but surely, there has to be something that connected these sites together. We had to look even further to try to find a connection.
HAVE YOUR SAY
What do you think of these sites? Have you ever fallen for an advertisement similar to this one?
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There is some correlation within the product’s contact information. A large amount of the teeth-whitening products analyzed actually shared the same phone number, which lead to a distribution center located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and several other similar distribution centers located across the Southern United States. But, that explains only one of the categories of products that these websites cover, teeth whitening.
What about the other products? The other products such as weight loss and work-at-home kits all trace back to similar distribution centers in similar places. So, what do we make of all of this?
There is obviously some company that promotes these products through the fake news advertisements, but that company is nowhere to be found on the websites. All contact information is given on the product pages, and websites are copyrighted under the name of the domain, not a company. Whatever company has been the setup for these pages has been very good at hiding themselves from the Internet, as there is no information across the web about that mysterious large advertiser.
As a result of customers buying the products and having unauthorized charges on their credit cards, a large volume of complaints are currently present on awareness sites, complaint sites, and even the Better Business Bureau. Several customers point out that they were not informed of the steep charges and the company made it extremely difficult to cancel their subscription, usually resulting in the loss of several hundred dollars.
One notable lawsuit has occurred as a result of these articles. Some of the articles about work at home kits specifically advertise things like “work for Google”, or “job openings at Google”. However, Google asserts these claims as false and has taken the case to court, as it is a copyright violation. “Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations,” said Google in a statement.
The BBB has received over 3,000 complaints about products such as the ones that Google took offense to. The lawsuit has yet to begin in court, and no date has been set.
Category : Uncategorized
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.
We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”
Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”
Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.
DS: Do you have any favorite books?
DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!
DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?
DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.
DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.
DS: You look cool with it!
DS: Do you design your own clothes?
DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.
DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?
DS: —as are you—
DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.
DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?
DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?
DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?
DS: What things in nature inspire you?
DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?
DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.
DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.
DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.
DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?
DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?
DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?
Category : Plastic Surgery
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Category : Uncategorized
Friday, November 2, 2007
Igor Moiseyev, who has been widely acclaimed as the greatest 20th-century choreographer of folk dance, has died today after a long illness. He was 101 years old.
Born Igor Alexandrovich Moiseyev on January 21, 1906 in Kiev, Moiseyev graduated from the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school in 1924 and danced in the theatre until 1939. His first choreography in the Bolshoi was Footballer in 1930 and the last was Spartacus in 1954.
Since the early 1930s, he staged acrobatic parades on Red Square and finally came up with the idea of establishing the Theatre of Folk Art. In 1936, Vyacheslav Molotov put him in charge of the new dance company, which has since been known as the Moiseyev Ballet. Among about 200 dances he created for his company, some humorously represented the game of football and guerrilla warfare. After visiting Belarus he choreographed a Belarusian “folk” dance Bulba (“Potato”), which over the years indeed became a Belarusian folk dance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Moiseyev’s work has been especially admired “for the balance that it maintained between authentic folk dance and theatrical effectiveness”.
Moiseyev was named People’s Artist of the USSR in 1953, Hero of Socialist Labor in 1976, received the Lenin Prize (1967, for the dance show A Road to the Dance), four USSR State Prizes (1942, 1947, 1952, 1985), Russian Federation State Prize (1996), was awarded numerous orders and medals of the Soviet Union, Spain, and many other countries. On the day of his centenary, Moiseyev became the first Russian to receive Order for the Merits before the Fatherland, 1st class — the highest civilian decoration of the Russian Federation.
Category : Uncategorized
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Few artists ever penetrate the subconscious level of American culture the way RuPaul Andre Charles did with the 1993 album Supermodel of the World. It was groundbreaking not only because in the midst of the Grunge phenomenon did Charles have a dance hit on MTV, but because he did it as RuPaul, formerly known as Starbooty, a supermodel drag queen with a message: love everyone. A duet with Elton John, an endorsement deal with MAC cosmetics, an eponymous talk show on VH-1 and roles in film propelled RuPaul into the new millennium.
In July, RuPaul’s movie Starrbooty began playing at film festivals and it is set to be released on DVD October 31st. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with RuPaul by telephone in Los Angeles, where she is to appear on stage for DIVAS Simply Singing!, a benefit for HIV-AIDS.
DS: How are you doing?
DS: How do you like Los Angeles?
DS: Me? I’m from all over. I have lived in 17 cities, six states and three countries.
DS: Do you miss Atlanta?
DS: What did that signify to you?
DS: In 2004 when you released your third album, Red Hot, it received a good deal of play in the clubs and on dance radio, but very little press coverage. On your blog you discussed how you felt betrayed by the entertainment industry and, in particular, the gay press. What happened?
DS: Do you mean as court jesters?
DS: Everything you are?
DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul ‘character’ and be seen as more than just RuPaul.
DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.
DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?
DS: Recently I interviewed Natasha Khan of the band Bat for Lashes, and she is considered by many to be one of the real up-and-coming artists in music today. Her band was up for the Mercury Prize in England. When I asked her where she drew inspiration from, she mentioned what really got her recently was the 1960’s and 70’s psychedelic drag queen performance art, such as seen in Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, The Cockettes and Paris Is Burning. What do you think when you hear an artist in her twenties looking to that era of drag performance art for inspiration?
DS: You think her answer was contrived?
DS: Has the Iraq War affected you at all?
DS: Do you think there is a lot of apathy in the culture?
DS: Do you ever work the current political culture into your art?
DS: What do you think of young performance artists working in drag today?
DS: Michael Musto told me something that was opposite of what you said. He said he felt that the younger gays, the ones who are up-and-coming, are over the body fascism and more willing to embrace their feminine sides.
Category : Uncategorized
Friday, May 12, 2006
Peter Costello’s budget announcement has led to rejoicing for small businesses, but the lack of joy for those pushing for radical corporate taxation reform has led to many businesses asking “what about us?”
Personal taxation and small business have been the big winners after this year’s federal budget. Although dampened by the twin economic threats of rising interest rates and petrol prices, there should be a reasonable amount of real income savings for both low and high income earners, with those receiving Medicare, or a superannuation benefit, privy to an even lower level of taxation (0% for those on super benefits).
Small business also has benefited from the Howard government’s 11th annual budget, with them receiving a higher level of reducing depreciation, leading to a higher level of deductions in the years following the uptake of new technology or other capital. They are also privy to a AU$435 million dollar tax cut to compensate for their changing accounting requirements under the government’s new AIFRS reporting standards, as well as increasing the uptake of both the small business tax relief scheme and CGT (Capital Gains tax) Concessions.
The budget was not a complete loss for big business however, as superannuation laws have been tweaked to streamline contribution and payment rules previously impeding those with multitudes of staff.
But this is not enough, says Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. In their newly published paper “Taxation of Investment in Australia: the need for ongoing reform”. In it they lead the charge for a greater streamlining and organization of the corporate tax system in Australia, submitting that it will lead to reductions in “disincentives to work save and invest in Australia [as well as improving] the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.” This follows from a recent report brought out by Mr. Costello himself about the need for tax reform in Australia.
A budget night Mr. Costello was notably coy about any future reform of corporate tax in Australia. He alluded to the report by his ministers but kept from outlining the government’s plan precisely.