Thursday, June 21
Personal income tax cuts worth billions of dollars are set to pass today, with One Nation confirming it will support the Federal Government’s $144 billion package and Centre Alliance conditionally backing it.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson told AM radio her party would back the entire three-stage, seven-year plan.
“Yes we are supporting the personal tax cuts … we are pleased to do so,” Senator Hanson said.
Senator Hanson conceded it was “a bit of a gamble” to support the income tax cut package in full because she had previously argued the third stage was unaffordable, however the senator said she was now more optimistic about the future.
“[The third stage] not coming in till 24/25, six years down the track,” she said.
“Hopefully the Government is actually getting the budget back into surplus.”
In her negotiations with the Government, Senator Hanson suggested the Coalition could find more money by cracking down on multinational companies not paying their fair share of tax and reviewing the salaries of bureaucrats.
The Federal Government has been working to secure the support of eight crossbench senators to pass its personal income tax cut package in full, because Labor wants to split the bill.
Yesterday the Senate passed the first two stages of the plan, but the Government will use its numbers in the House of Representatives to reject that offer and instead bring on an all or nothing vote.
With One Nation now on the Government’s side, it needs one of the two Centre Alliance senators to come onboard.
Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff said his party was not in favour of the whole tax package, but would vote for it if the Government refuses to split it into chunks.
“If the Government comes back with that and they say it’s all or nothing, we are certainly not going to stand in the way of low to middle-income earners receiving tax cuts, which would indicate that we more than likely will have to support the complete package,” he told AM.
Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick defended voting for the entire package even though his party did not support all of it, saying that otherwise lower income earners who would benefit from the first two stages would miss out.
The vote to pass the legislation in the Senate is expected later today.
US President Donald Trump has backed down and abandoned his policy of separating immigrant families on the US-Mexico border, after images of children in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad.
Mr Trump signed an executive order requiring that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally for as long as their criminal proceedings take.
But that may violate a court settlement on how long children may be held, setting up a potential legal fight, unless Congress acts on the issue.
“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Mr Trump said as he signed the order in a hastily arranged Oval Office gathering minutes before departing for a campaign event.
The Trump order, an unusual reversal by him, also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings and asks the Department of Defence to help house them.
But it does not end a 10-week-old “zero tolerance” policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.
As football’s finest captivate audiences at the World Cup, older people here in Australia are taking to the field with a version of the game that suits them — walking football.
Getting older does not mean you have to stop doing the things you love.
That’s how 69-year-old Philip Taylor has approached playing football.
“When you get to our age the speed of the game is a little bit too fast, so walking has slowed it down,” said Mr Taylor on AM radio.
He has played the game since he was five, sometimes very competitively.
But now he is playing walking football once a week with about 20 other men in their 50s, 60s and 70s on Sydney’s northern beaches.
“It means we can all play and it’s quite enjoyable and much better than sitting in a house doing nothing,” Mr Taylor said.
“What I missed about soccer was the banter and the camaraderie and we have all that back now, it’s a good group of friends.”
His team is full of characters with unique nicknames who are looking for some exercise and social fun in their retirement.
Some are even former professionals, such as 75-year-old Tommy Hill.
“I was playing over-age football until I was in my early 50s and it just got too much.
This news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.