Daily News Roundup

April 26, 2018

The Turnbull government has scrapped a Medicare levy increase to help pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, saying it no longer needs the money, according to AAP.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has hailed the economic improvement that means he can fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme without a Medicare levy hike.

Ahead of a keynote speech on Thursday, Mr Morrison confirmed the extra 0.5 per cent hike in the Medicare levy from next year is no longer needed thanks to increased revenue, despite it being a key measure of the 2017 federal budget.

Tax receipts up until February are expected to have run $4.8 billion higher than estimated in December, due to company profits, temporary commodities boost and a jobs boom.

“As we prepared the budget it was clear that we no longer had to do this and so I’m pleased as punch that we don’t,” he told the Nine Network.

“I’m pleased as punch for people with disabilities that we can guarantee those funds from a stronger economy.”

Mr Morrison insisted last year’s predictions were conservative and the economy has improved in the last 12 months.

Negotiations over the government’s bill had stalled after Labor proposed restricting the 0.5 per cent tax increase to those earning more than $87,000.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has hinted at plans to now scrap that proposal in line with the government’s decision.

“Obviously I’ll have more to say about that today.”

Mr Bowen welcomed the decision and said taxpaying families would too.

But he refused to give the government credit for the improved budget position, saying the only reason the proposal was dropped was because it wouldn’t get support in parliament.


Think the Royal baby might be named Alexander? Funny you should say that.

That’s how the Duke of Cambridge responded to Alexander Downer’s light-hearted question about whether the Royal baby might share his first name.

The Prince’s comments to Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom can be heard in a clip filmed at an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey.

“Have you thought of the name Alexander?” Mr Downer asked.

“Well it’s funny you should say that, it’s a good name,” the Prince replied.

Mr Downer then went on to say his New Zealand counterpart, Sir Jerry Mateparae would also like to see the baby named “Jerry” after him.
Prince William agreed it too, was “a strong name”.

The Royal baby is yet to be named, although Arthur, Albert, Philip and James have all been considered likely possibilities by bookmakers.


The US police officer accused of murdering Australian woman Justine Damond Ruszczyk outside her Minneapolis home is likely to plead not guilty, according to court documents.

The documents, filed by Mohamed Noor’s lawyer, indicated the 32-year-old would fight the charges, arguing he acted in self-defence and used reasonable force.

Mr Noor shot Ms Damond Ruszczyk, a 40-year-old life coach, on July 15, 2017, after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

Her death drew international attention, cost police chief Janee Harteau her job and forced major revisions to the department’s policy on body cameras.

Mr Noor handed himself in to police in March on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

He was booked on the third-degree murder charge for perpetrating an eminently dangerous act while showing a “depraved mind”.

A second-degree manslaughter charge alleges he acted with “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk”.
If convicted of third-degree murder, he could face a maximum of 25 years in prison, though the presumptive sentence is 12 and a half years.

The second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but the presumptive sentence is four years.

Mr Noor has not spoken publicly about the case and declined to answer questions from investigators.

A policeman who was with Mr Noor at the time of the shooting, Matthew Harrity, told investigators that he was startled by a loud noise right before Ms

Damond Ruszczyk approached the driver’s side window of their police car.

Mr Harrity, who was driving, said Mr Noor then fired his weapon from the passenger seat.

Ms Damond Ruszczyk died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

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