Browsing articles in "Economics"
Friday 22nd July 2016 - 1:34 pm
Comments Off on Our banks:what’s bugging us

Our banks:what’s bugging us

by Alan Thornhill

 

Bank customers, worried about high fees and poor service have left Australia’s big four banks facing their lowest satisfaction ratings in three years.

 

A new survey, by Roy Morgan Research, found that although only some 5 per cent of bank customers are classed as “dissatisfied,” their complaints may well need to be addressed, to produce wider levels of satisfaction.

 

So what were they?

 

Predictably, fees and charges took top spot.

 

The researchers said: problems in this area were the most frequently mentioned.

 

They said customers generally felt that many fees were not justified and a backward step.

 

Their comments had included: “It used to be free and now they charge me a monthly account keeping fee”; “they charge for silly things”; “fees exorbitant”; “…they’re at uni studying and if balance is low they charge fees” and “…extreme overcharging of fees”.

 

The researchers also said:  “the second most frequently mentioned problem,(was) poor service.

 

This had spanned a wide range of issues including: “not enough service, prefer you to be out the door”; “poor service and too much focus on profits and shareholders”; ”no follow-up service”; ”very inflexible”; and “poor service and listening skills”.

 

 

The researchers said poor service, spanned a wide range of issues including: “not enough service, prefer you to be out the door”; “poor service and too much focus on profits and shareholders”; ”no follow-up service”; ”very inflexible”; and “poor service and listening skills”.

 

 

Then there were branch issues, the Roy Morgan organisation said.

 

A major branch-related problem was to do with branch closures such as: “they keep closing their branches, very difficult to go to branch”; “removal of branches”;”…closing branches and this results in diminishing service”; “…the branch moved…no close local branch”. Other branch issues related to poor service in the branch: “reduced over-counter service…push to electronic banking”;  ”waiting time in branches”; ”not enough tellers”.

Please visit our sponsor
Thursday 21st July 2016 - 1:38 pm
Comments Off on Malcolm Turnbull’s gamble

Malcolm Turnbull’s gamble

by Alan Thornhill

Analysis

 

 

 

 

Placating dissidents is risky.

 

But Malcolm Turnbull was not deterred, a few days ago, when he sent Liberal dissidents a message, from a news conference.

 

The Prime Minister said “: I am listening very keenly and carefully to concerns that have been raised by my colleagues and of course by other people in the community as well.”

 

He was, of course, was speaking to a small, but very active group, of Liberal dissidents, who want bigger tax breaks, on superannuation, for their wealthy voters.

 

The South Australian, Cory Bernardi, who was among the first to speak out on this issue, welcomed the assurance.

 

The ABC reported that he said Mr Turnbull had been  “unbelievably receptive and respectful of differences of opinion on policy issues, including in superannuation.”

 

But not all are convinced.

 

Another conservative Senator, George Christiansen, is threatening to cross the floor – and vote against – what he calls a Labor style policy if the government does not drop its proposed $500,000 cap, on tax free superannuation reforms.

 

The budget contained two main  superannution reforms,   a $500,000 contributions cap and a $1.6 million pension fund limit.

 

The Financial Planning Association chief executive Dante De Gori  has described these as good measures, but warned confidence in the super system could be eroded by the retrospective effects of the $500,000 contributions cap.

 

The dissidents do not agree.

 

One West Australian MP, among their number, says the Liberals would not have lost votes, as they did, in the July 2 elections, if well heeled voters could have been enticed out  to polling stations, to hand out how to vote cards.

 

Ian Yates the Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing, said  “the fact that the Prime Minister and Treasurer are under pressure to reverse sound policy to make super fairer, based on a weak narrative about selected poor election results and fewer well-heeled supporters manning polling booths, would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.”
He said:  ““…superannuation tax breaks cost over $25 billion in foregone revenue.

 

 

“Middle and lower earners, the majority of whom are women, have to pay more in taxes – both now and in the future – to pay for super tax breaks that largely benefit high-income men,”Mr Yates said.

 

Several other bodies also vowed to fight the dissidents’ campaign when Mr Turnbull softened his stance on the matter last Sunday, after declaring in the recent election campaign that the government’s position on the matter was “ironclad.”

 

Perhaps the most significant of those declarations, for the government, was that from GetUp, which said it is ready to fight on this matter.

 

Especially as it showed, before the election that it has some skills, in this area.

Wednesday 20th July 2016 - 9:09 am
Comments Off on Australia:the entepreneurial

Australia:the entepreneurial

by Alan Thornhill

Thinking of starting a new small business?

 

You are not alone.

 

A new survey, that the National Australia Bank published today, shows that one Australian in three shares your ambition.

 

The bank says this shows that the start-up culture is alive and well, in this country.

 

So what did the survey find?

 

The key conclusions, according to the bank, were:-

 

  • Around 1 in 3 Australians would like to own their own business with young Australians clearly the most aspirational (nearly 1 in 2)
  • Over 1 in 2 men and 41 per cent of women say they have “good” to “excellent” levels of entrepreneurship
  • The most popular new businesses are cafés and retail, followed by IT and personal services
  • Most budding entrepreneurs would go it alone or with their spouse or partner
  • Around 40 per cent of budding entrepreneurs and 75 per cent of existing business owners need or needed less than $50,000 to get their business off the ground
  • Over 1 in 3 aspirational and existing business owners would be keen to be part of “community” of other entrepreneurs

 

The NAB’s Executive General Manager for Micro and Small Business Leigh O’Neill said a healthy start-up sector is critical to fostering a new wave of growth for the Australian economy.

 

“Small businesses are so important to creating future jobs and economic growth, and understanding their motivations and needs means we can help support the right ecosystems for growth,” Ms O’Neill said.

 

“We’ve got a huge community of budding entrepreneurs eager to get their ideas off the ground, and it’s clear that they need more than money.”

 

The release of the research coincides with the launch of NAB Startup, a service that allows aspiring small business owners to become operational quickly, with guidance on setting up an ABN, ACN, business and domain name registrations, as well as website creation and invoicing functionality.

 

“We see plenty of small business owners juggling full time jobs while setting up their new ventures.

 

 

“They have huge amounts of excitement and energy, but very little time, so they need things to be simple, quick and connected,” said Ms O’Neill.

 

“Services like NAB Startup, our new unsecured $50,000 QuickBiz Loan and digital marketplace for small business Proquo, help entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground more quickly and connect with other small businesses.”

 

The full survey ‘The Lure of Entrepreneurship – Australia’s Start-up Culture’  in available at www.news.nab.com.au.

Tuesday 19th July 2016 - 3:30 pm
Comments Off on Buying a home? Why it’s still a struggle

Buying a home? Why it’s still a struggle

by Alan Thornhill

Australians planning to buy new homes are still finding them less affordable.

 

However, a new survey, by the Housing Industry Association confirms that significant differences between the various State capitals persist.

 

The association’s Affordability Report, published  today,  showed that affordability overall  fell by 3.7 per cent in  the June quarter.

 

It was also 2.1 per cent less favorable than that of the same period a year earlier.

 

The Association said the capital city housing affordability index fell by 4.3 per cent during the quarter, while regional market index experienced a 1.9 per cent improvement.

 

“Home price growth moderated in the early part of the year and the HIA Housing Affordability Index showed an improvement in affordability during the March 2016 quarter,” HIA Economist, Geordan Murray said.

 

“However, in the June quarter dwelling price growth returned and the index reverted to the level we saw at the end of 2015,” he added.

 

“While there was a decline in the headline index tracking the national picture, there was substantial variation around the country – with substantial differences between states, and also differences between capital city markets and regional markets.”

 

“The geographic variation in affordability is most evident in the comparison between Melbourne and Perth,” Mr Murray said.

 

Over the last year, the median dwelling price in Perth has fallen by 4.7 per cent while Melbourne’s has grown by 11.5 per cent,” he added.

 

This has seen the affordability index for Perth increase by 6.2 per cent over the last year, while the index for Melbourne has fallen by 6.2 per cent.”

 

“These differences in affordability align with the relative economic performance of these two states.

 

“The Western Australian economy is navigating the tail end of the mining boom which has seen conditions in the local labour market deteriorate and consequently the rate of population growth has fallen quite sharply.

 

“ In contrast, Victoria has experienced a healthy level of growth in the labour force and continues to record the strongest rate of population growth in the country,”  Mr Murray said.

 

During the June 2016 quarter, improvements in affordability were observed in three capital cities with the largest improvement in Perth (+3.2 per cent), Darwin (+2.9 per cent) and Hobart (+2.2 per cent).

 

Affordability worsened in the remaining five capital cities during the March 2016 quarter with the largest decline recorded in Melbourne (-7.4 per cent), followed by Canberra (-5.7 per cent), Sydney (-1.6 per cent), Adelaide (-1.3 per cent), and Brisbane (-1.0 per cent).

Tuesday 19th July 2016 - 1:10 pm
Comments Off on RBA”waiting”

RBA”waiting”

by Alan Thornhill

The Reserve Bank is waiting for fresh information, before it decides whether to cut interest rates again, as it did in May.

 

The bank clarified its position in the minutes from its July 5 Board meeting which it released today.

 

It said growth in Australia’s major trading partners appeared to have remained slightly below average over recent months.

 

This was  in line with earlier forecasts.

 

“ GDP growth in China appeared to have eased further, which was continuing to affect economic conditions throughout the Asian region,” the bank added.

 

It said, too,  that:  “monetary policy remained very accomodative across the major economies.”

 

That was expected to remain so given that inflation was below most central banks’ targets.

 

However, the bank added, this was despite improvements in labour markets leading to full employment in several large advanced economies.

 

It said: “ GDP growth in China appeared to have eased further, which was continuing to affect economic conditions throughout the Asian region.

 

“Monetary policy remained very accommodative across the major economies.

 

And it is expected to remain so given that inflation was below most central banks’ targets, despite improvements in labour markets leading to full employment in several large advanced economies, the bank added

 

It said:  “the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union had led to considerable financial market volatility, which had since settled.

 

“Financial markets had functioned effectively throughout the episode and borrowing costs for high-quality borrowers remained low.
Any effects of the referendum outcome on UK and global economic activity remained to be seen.

 

In any event, the referendum result implied a period of uncertainty about the outlook for the United Kingdom and the European Union. In the absence of significant financial dislocation, the staff’s central case was that this uncertainty was expected to have only a modest adverse effect on global economic activity.

 

 

Commodity prices had generally increased since the previous meeting. At the time of the present meeting, the Australian dollar (in trade-weighted terms) was around the levels assumed in the forecasts at the time of the May Statement on Monetary Policy

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 19th July 2016 - 9:07 am
Comments Off on The news:Tuesday July 19

The news:Tuesday July 19

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull’s big new ministry and cabinet to be sworn in today

 

 

 

Pauline Hanson has made a controversial appearance on ABC’s Q&A as police clashed with a handful of protesters who demonstrated for and against her on the street outside, arresting up to six people theage

 

 

Donald Trump’s camp calls Republican’s staying away from their party’s convention in Cleveland “childish”  BBC

 

The black former Marine and Iraq war veteran who shot dead three police officers in the southern US city of Baton Rouge at the weekend planned his attack for days and then “assassinated” the men, officials say. ABC

Monday 18th July 2016 - 7:17 pm
Comments Off on Tony Abbott:off the team

Tony Abbott:off the team

by Alan Thornhill

Tony Abbott has missed out on a place in Malcolm Turnbull’s new ministry and Christopher Pyne is to become Australia’s new minister for defence industry.

 

The Prime Minister has also named Josh Frydenberg Australia’s new environment minister.

 

This has angered environmentalists who say Mr Frydenberg has always favoured the  coal industry over the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Mr Turnbull’s new ministry and cabinet are to be sworn in next week.

 

The Prime Minister’s decision to leave his predecessor, Mr Abbott, off his front bench comes as no surprise, even though hard right MPs, within the Liberal Party, would have welcomed such a move.

 

As he  promised do before the election, Mr Turnbull generally avoided unecssary changes changes when he announced his new team today.

 

But Mr Frydenberg will become minister for the environment and energy.

 

Mr Turnbull said all his previous cabinet ministers had been reappointed although there had been some changes and expansions in their duties.

 

He said:  “Senator Fiona Nash will add Local Government and Territories to her Regional Development and Regional Communications roles.

 

“Christopher Pyne will be appointed to the new role of Minister for Defence Industry, within the Defence portfolio.

 

“Mr Pyne will be responsible for overseeing our new Defence Industry Plan that came out of the Defence White Paper.

 

“This includes the most significant naval shipbuilding program since the Second World War.

 

“This is a key national economic development role. This program is vitally important for the future of Australian industry and especially advanced manufacturing.

 

“The Minister for Defence Industry will oversee the Naval Shipbuilding Plan which will itself create 3,600 new direct jobs and thousands more across the supply chain across Australia.

 

“Beyond shipbuilding, there is a massive Defence Industry Investment and Acquisition Program on land, in the air and inside cyberspace.

 

“This is a massive step change set out in the Defence White Paper. This investment in Defence Industry, as you know, is a key part of our economic plan.

 

“It will drive the jobs and the growth in advanced manufacturing, in technology, right across the country. And I’m appointing Christopher to be the Minister to oversee that and ensure that those projects are delivered.

 

“As I said at the outset, this is a term of government for delivery.

 

“We will be judged in 2019 by the Australian people as to whether we have delivered on the plans and the programs and the investments that we have promised and set out and described in the lead-up to the election.

 

Greg Hunt will move from Environment to become the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, where he will drive the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

 

“Can I say that Mr Hunt has been an outstanding Environment Minister and he served in that portfolio in Government and indeed, in opposition.

 

“He has a keen understanding of innovation, he has a keen understanding of science and technology and he will give new leadership to that important portfolio and those important agendas so central to our economic plan.

 

“Josh Frydenberg will move to the expanded Environment and Energy portfolio combining all the key energy policy areas.

 

“These include energy security and domestic energy markets for which he has been previously responsible in the current portfolio. Renewable energy targets, clean energy development and financing and emission reduction mechanisms which are part of Environment.

 

“Senator Matt Canavan will be promoted to Cabinet as the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and I welcome Senator Canavan to the Cabinet in this key economic development role,” Mr Turnbull said.

 

 

 

 

Monday 18th July 2016 - 9:18 am
Comments Off on “Ignore the critics” PM urged

“Ignore the critics” PM urged

by Alan Thornhill

A body representing older Australians is urging the government to “stick to” its promised reforms to superannuation.

 

The Council on the Ageing says its “integrity will be at stake” if it doesn’t.

 

The council’s, Chief Executive Ian Yates said a small number of Liberal members are seeking bigger tax breaks for the rich, at the expense of less well off Australians.

 

In a statement today. Mr Yates said:  ““The Coalition Party Room needs to stand strong on this.

 

He said that is necessary:  “.. in the interests of good social and economic policy, electoral integrity and Budget reform

 

“… otherwise they will send a message that they govern for the financial interests of the top few percent of wealthy Australians.
 

 

Mr Yates said there are fundamental equity issues here .

 

 

“…superannuation tax breaks cost over $25 billion in foregone revenue.

 

 

He said that is“ – over ten per cent of income tax – and growing fast.

 

 

“Middle and lower earners, the majority of whom are women, have to pay more in taxes – both now and in the future – to pay for super tax breaks that largely benefit high-income men,”Mr Yates said.

 

He said:  “…said the fact that the Prime Minister and Treasurer are under pressure to reverse sound policy to make super fairer, based on a weak narrative about selected poor election results and fewer well-heeled supporters manning polling booths, would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.”
 

“In fact a few Coalition dissenters giving air to the complaints of a privileged minority created space during the campaign for Labor to ‘dog whistle’ a so-called threat to super; while later banking the whole of the savings from the super reforms” Mr Yates said.

Pages:«1234567...531»

My book

wx 2

Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill

A novel on the murder of seven young Anglican Christian Brothers in the Solomon Islands.

Available now on the iTunes store.

Profile

Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

Please visit our sponsor
Please visit our sponsor

Topics

News Archives