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THE NEWS WRAP: Business Council calls for new federal budget rules

Wednesday, 6 March 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott is urging the federal government to aim for a surplus within three years and adopt a new set of fiscal rules for future federal budgets.


Westacott is critical of the Gillard government for “poorly thought-through savings and knee-jerk reactions”, but also says the Coalition’s aim of a budget surplus next year is also unrealistic, arguing both parties should aim for a surplus within three years followed by surpluses of 1-2% of GDP.


The new fiscal rules proposed by the Business Council include a hard cap on spending increases, set at 23.7% of GDP, along with the establishment of a fund that could be used to deliver future stimulus packages.


Rip Curl pulls $400 million sale offer


Rip Curl has withdrawn from a proposed $400 million sale of the surfwear giant, citing uncertain investment markets and industry volatility following the recent troubles at key competitor Billabong.


While Rip Curl grew its revenues from $362 million to $412million in the June 2012 financial year, recent losses at Billabong have created the perception of an industry in turmoil.


"I doubt (the sale) is going to happen, the public market looks like a bit of a cesspit at the moment,” Rip Curl co-founder Brian "Sing Ding" Singer told The Australian.


Wen Jiabao calls for sustainable growth in China


Outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged his successors to move towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable growth model, during an opening day speech at China’s National People's Congress.


“Economic development is increasingly in conflict with resource conservation and environmental protection,” Wen said.



“Unbalanced, unco-ordinated and unsustainable development remains a prominent problem [in China].”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.92% to 14258.15. The Aussie dollar is up to US102.47 cents.