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Bill shortens budget reply speech slams malcoms millionaires and pledges 71 billion worth of saving




BILL Shorten pledged to deny big business and the wealthy some $65 billion in tax cuts offered in the Government’s “millionaires Budget”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told Parliament Labor would limit income tax cuts to those earning less than $180,000 a year, and restrict company tax cuts to small businesses with a turnover under $2 million a year.

Vocational education loans would be capped at $8000 a student, to save $6 billion.

That would be a total saving of $71 billion over 10 years, announced after a day in which both sides argued over the accuracy of their opponents decade-long spending forecasts.

The Labor responses to Tuesday nights economic statement made clear the Coalition would be campaigning on concessions to employers to boost the economy, and Labor would concentrate on protecting families and employees.

The Coalition will concentrate on enhancing the capacity of companies to hire workers; Labor will focus on giving workers the skills needed to increase demand for their services.

With an eye to family matters, Mr Shorten said Labor would legislate to keep Medicare in public hands within 100 days of election to Government.

And a Labor government would fully fund commitments to schools, universities, vocational education and creating jobs through infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

With polling day 58 days away, Mr Shorten said: We might be the underdogs in this election, but we have never sought to be a small target.

We are offering a social and economic program for betterment of this nation.

The markers we set for the future of Australia: jobs, education, Medicare, climate change, affordable housing and fair taxation, equality for women, our belief in young Australians.

By contrast, this Budget punishes people who cant afford it and rewards those who dont need it.

The Shorten speech underlined a sharper demarcation between the major parties in the election Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to call on Sunday with accusations of class warfare certain to follow.

From Tonys Tradies to Malcolms Millionaires this is a Budget for big business over battlers, Mr Shorten said in his official reply to Parliament.

And he challenged the Governments reliability on economic management, saying that over the past three years the deficit had tripled, $100 billion had been added to the national debt, and more tax had been collected than at any time since John Howards last year in office, 2007.

Mr Shorten said this was accompanied by falling incomes, flat wages and declining living standards.

The Opposition Leader maintained his claim the government wants to dismantle Medicare.

Medicare drives economic growth and productivity, keeping us active, healthy and productive at work, he said.

It saves employers the costs, red-tape and hassle of organising health insurance for their workforce. It saves the nation money the most efficient payment system, for treatment at the most important time.

And it saves families money keeping down the cost of living.

Labor supported the modest income tax cuts to prevent those earning $80,000 a year slipping into a higher tax bracket. But would block the benefit spreading to higher income earners.

We will support the governments modest measures on bracket creep, said Mr Shorten.

However, in the face of continuing deficits, now is not the time to give the richest three per cent of Australians another tax cut on top of this.

Now is not the time to reduce the marginal rate for individuals who earn greater than $180,000. According to the independent Parliamentary Budget Office this decision is estimated to improve the Budget by $16 billion over the decade.

Labor also would quarantine a reduction in company tax to 25 per cent to small business, rejecting a Coalition plan to have it phased in for all businesses.

Labor will support a tax cut for small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million dollars per year. Because thats what a small business is. We will deliver tax relief for the small businesses, said the Opposition Leader.

Coles is not a small business. The Commonwealth Bank is not a small business.

And in a pointed reference to Malcolm Turnbulls former career he said: Goldman Sachs is not a small business.

In further proposed savings: $1.4 billion would come from repealing the Nationals new Baby Bonus; and $1 billion by scrapping Direct Action, the Coalitions scheme to pay companies for lower pollution emissions.

We will not spend $160 million of taxpayer money on a divisive plebiscite dredging up all kinds of harmful prejudice, said Mr Shorten.

Instead, the Parliament of Australia will do its job and within our first 100 days of government vote to make marriage equality a reality.

He confirmed Labors plan to tightly restrict access to negatives gear from July next year, for a saving calculated at $32 billion over 10 years.

Appearing on The 7:30 Report, Bill Shorten slammed the oppositions budget saying 'it's rushed'. Courtesy: ABC

Brexit fresh gamblers raise stakes for trump win




IN THE final countdown to the US election, Americans and foreigners alike are jostling to bet on a shock Donald Trump victory, buoyed by tightening polls and memories of Brexit.

Since the news of the FBI reopening the investigation, were seeing five Trump bets for every Hillary (Clinton) one, says Pat Morrow, head oddsmaker at offshore betting site Bovada.

Gambling on any election is banned in the United States but Americans can partake via a plethora of offshore, online sites such as Bovada, Betfair or Betonline.

The FBI directors announcement last Friday that his agents were reviewing Clintons email scandal coincided with a tightening in the polls that have slashed the Democratic former secretary of states previously substantial lead.

While most experts predicted a tightening of the polls anyway, betting has seen an even more spectacular uptick.

A futures market run by the University of Iowa for research and teaching purposes saw the probability of a Trump win rise from nine per cent about 10 days ago to 40 per cent on Monday.

Around 2300 players, who can each bet $US500 ($650) maximum, have invested a total of $US314,000 ($410,000), says Joyce Berg, Iowa Electronic Markets director.

There is also a lively trade with British bookmakers, where the maverick Republicans odds are also rising in a country rocked by a series of shock political outcomes since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

MEMORIES OF BREXIT

Trump certainly currently has the momentum and from as long as an 11/2 chance just two weeks back he is now closing up on Hillary almost day by day, says Graham Sharpe, media relations director at William Hill.

The British bookmakers, who are listed on the London Stock Exchange, shortened Trumps odds for the eighth time in a fortnight this time from 5/2, around 28 per cent, to 2/1, 33 per cent, he said.

John Mappin, a 51-year-old British businessman who has spent a lot of time in America, says he is more confident than ever of a Trump victory and stands to win just over 100,000 pounds ($160,000) if he does.

The polls are very inaccurate. Its very, very similar to the Brexit situation that was here in England, said Mappin, who owns a hotel in Tintagel, Cornwall and a local newspaper group in London.

Final polls before the EU referendum in Britain gave the remain camp a substantial edge, yet the June 23 referendum ended with a 52 per cent to 48 per cent win for the leave campaign, jolting global markets, sending the pound into a tailspin and forcing the prime minister to resign.

Mappin has bet on Trump around 30 times in the last 16 months at William Hill, putting down the most money right after the businessman threw his hat into the race, sailing down a golden escalator in June 2015.

NEARING RECORD BETS

I spent a long time in America and I know the Americans very, very well. I understand how fed up they are with bad leadership, Mappin said.

Sharpe says the odds now mirror betting at a similar stage for Brexit. Some political punters are clearly gambling that the recent trend of shock political results ... is going to continue, he said.

Even if the US election race is still highly volatile, which could dissuade some betting, the amounts being taken in are still approaching record highs.

At Bovada it is nearly double the amount bet in the 2012 presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and William Hill is on track to reach three million pounds, which would be a record for a US election.

And a Trump victory wont only be bad news for those betting on Clinton, it would hammer bookmakers.

We will already be a third of a million pounds worse off if he wins and it looks like getting worse, said Sharpe.

Him winning would be as bad as being on the wrong side of any Super Bowl, said Morrow of the most watched sporting and television event in the United States the annual NFL final in American football.

How will new American voters impact whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is elected as US President? This 2016 election special travels across the states looking at how changing demographics are set to impact this election, and beyond.