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THE NEWS WRAP: Former Treasury secretary warns rise in GST “inevitable”

Monday, 12 November 2012 | By Oliver Milman

It’s “inevitable” that the goods and services tax (GST) will be raised and broadened across other areas in order to boost government coffers, according to a former Treasury secretary.

 

Tony Cole told The Australian Financial Review that community and business groups would need to be consulted over the GST hike but added: “But if we want politicians to lead, sometimes we’ve got to give them a bit of space to do it.”

 

Joe Hockey, the shadow treasurer, said that it was up to the states to make the case for a GST increase, given that they would benefit from the move.

 

Timewasting costs $87 billion: Report

 

Timewasting costs Australian businesses $87 billion a year, despite an increase in overall productivity in our workplaces, a new study has found.

 

The Ernst & Young Australian Productivity Pulse found that the amount of time wasted in businesses has dropped 4% since October 2011.

 

"We're producing more from the same amount of hours worked than 12 months ago," said Ernst & Young managing partner Neil Plumridge.

 

"An extra 15 minutes of productive time every day at work can mean a great deal for individuals as well as the organisations they work for."

 

HTC and Apple end two-year legal fight

 

Technology giants Apple and HTC have ended a series of patent disputes that stretch back to March 2010.

 

The two businesses have been involved in 20 different legal fights around the world but have now agreed to drop all court action.

 

"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," said Peter Chou, the head of HTC.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 13.59 points, or 0.11%, to 12,824.91 on Friday. The Australian dollar was down to US104 cents.