SYDNEY, May 5 (Reuters) – The Australian government has scrapped plans to accelerate tax cuts for the rich, Australian newspapers reported on Wednesday, as the country’s economy recovered faster than anticipated from the downturn caused by the pandemic.
The government has ruled out including a tax cut for high earners in the federal budget next week, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.
It would instead extend tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners for another year, the report said, with tax breaks for the rich due in 2024.
A Ministry of Finance spokesman declined to comment. The government is scheduled to announce its annual budget on May 11.
Australia pledged A $ 17.8 billion ($ 13.73 billion) in personal tax cuts in last year’s budget as part of a coronavirus recovery plan to create one million new jobs over the next four years.
However, the A $ 2 trillion domestic economy, which last year slipped into recession due to the COVID-19 lockdown, is now on a faster recovery path as the low number of cases in recent months has led to less restrictions.
Unemployment fell to a one-year low in March and the number of people in employment surpassed pre-pandemic peaks, official data show.
$ 1 = 1.2967 Australian dollars Report by Renju Jose; edited by Jane Wardell
WARSAW, May 4 (Reuters) – People traveling to Poland from Brazil, India and South Africa must be quarantined, Poland’s health minister said on Tuesday, as he announced an outbreak of the COVID-19 variant first detected in India in Warsaw . and the Katowice area.
“In the case of Brazil, India and South Africa, people traveling from these locations should automatically be quarantined without the possibility of being exempted due to tests,” Adam Niedzielski told a news conference. (Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Alex Richardson)
BERLIN, May 3 (Reuters) – German retail sales posted their biggest year-on-year increase in March since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed on Monday, as easing of some of the lockdown measures boosted purchases of clothes and shoes. .
The Federal Statistical Office said retail sales jumped 11.0% compared to the same month a year earlier in real terms after an upwardly revised 6.6% drop in February. March reading beat Reuters forecast for a 0.3% decline
Sales of textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods rose 27.7% compared to the same month a year earlier, while retail trade with goods sold at department stores increased 23%.
Online retailers continue to benefit from changing consumer habits with sales up 42.9% compared to the previous year.
German states began allowing stores to offer so-called “click and meet” shopping deals in March. (Reporting by Caroline Copley Editing by Riham Alkousaa)
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 2 (Reuters) – Brazil recorded 1,202 deaths from COVID-19 as of Sunday and an additional 28,935 cases, according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Health.
The South American country has now recorded 407,639 total deaths from the coronavirus and 14,754,910 total confirmed cases.
New cases in Brazil have fallen since a peak in late March, although by historical standards they remain high. The country’s total COVID-19 deaths are second only to the United States. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Peter Cooney)
LONDON (Reuters) – The Group of Seven of the richest nations will look at proposals to establish a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian “propaganda” and disinformation, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab told Reuters.
Speaking ahead of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London, the first face-to-face meeting in two years, Raab said Britain was “inviting the G7 to come together with a rapid rebuttal mechanism” to counter Russia’s misinformation.
“So that when we see these lies and propaganda or fake news being disseminated, we can – not only individually, but unite to give rebuttals and frankly give the truth, to the people of this country but also in Russia or China or around the world,” Raab said.
Russia and China are trying to sow mistrust in the West, either by spreading disinformation in elections or by spreading lies about the COVID-19 vaccine, according to British, US and European security officials.
Russia denies interference outside its borders and says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria. China says the West is a bully and that its leaders have a post-imperial mindset that makes them feel they can act like global police.
Britain has identified Russia as the biggest threat to its security despite viewing China as its biggest long-term challenge, militarily, economically and technologically.
Raab will meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, kicking off a week of diplomacy aimed at reviving the role of the G7 and forging a broader stronghold against those deemed undermining the rules-based international order.
“The scope of intense global cooperation, international cooperation with our American partners, and even the broader G7 we are holding this week has never been greater,” said Raab.
He stressed that face-to-face meetings – something that is only possible because of steps such as participants’ daily exams – would make diplomacy easier: “You can only do so much with Zoom.”
The G7 members are Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and their combined gross domestic product is around $ 40 trillion – slightly less than half of the global economy.
British and US officials have expressed concern in recent months about the growing strategic cooperation between Russia, the world’s largest country by area, and China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
Asked about the concerns, Raab said: “What matters most to us is that we expand an international caucus of like-minded countries that defend open societies, human rights and democracy, which stand for open trade.”
He said many of those allies wanted to “find out how this pandemic started.” The coronavirus outbreak, which started in China in late 2019, has killed 3.2 million people and cost the world trillions of dollars in lost production.
Raab said some of the barriers between the G7 and other like-minded countries needed to be broken down so that there could be a wider network of allies defending open markets and democracy.
Britain has invited India, Australia and South Korea to attend this week’s meeting, which runs from Monday to Wednesday, and the full leaders’ summit in June.
Asked if Britain could seek to join a separate group known as the Quad – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – Raab said there were no concrete proposals yet, but that Britain was looking for ways to get more involved in the Indo-Pacific.
Written by William James and Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Susan Fenton and Frances Kerry