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THE NEWS WRAP: Business leaders welcome interest rate cut

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 | By Oliver Milman

Business leaders have welcomed the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis points, with the commercial banks are now under pressure to pass on the reduction.

 

According to The Australian, Bernie Brooks, CEO of Myer, said: “We continue to be cautious about the trading environment, but we hope that this decision will give our customers a well-needed confidence boost during the festive season.”

 

The Bank of Queensland and ING Direct are the first banks to pass on the cut to individuals and small businesses, with the ‘big four’ banks urged to do the same by the government.

 

Lew savages government over GST threshold

 

Retail magnate Solomon Lew has attacked the government for not moving to immediately cut the GST threshold for overseas online purchases, claiming that the inaction is costing jobs.

 

Lew, head of Premier Investments, which owns Just Jeans, Portmans and Smiggle, said that 22,000 jobs had been lost in retail in the past year, with a further 30,000 set to disappear in the next three years.

 

''It is very hard to compete when your own government is on the side of foreign competitors,”' Lew said.

 

Discrimination warning over social media checks

 

Employers have been warned that they may fall foul of discrimination laws if they use social media to check up on potential staff.

 

Nicholas Linke, a partner with law firm Fisher Jeffries, told News Ltd that social media sites can hold information on jobseekers’ age, ethnicity and marital status, opening up the way for potential lawsuits.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones industrial average fell by 0.11% to 12,951.78. The Australian dollar edged up to 104.47 US cents.