Key posts

  • Fuel tax change could hit households $20 a week: truckers
  • Albanese sparks political storm by backing wage rise to match inflation
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Fuel tax change could hit households $20 a week: truckers

Truck drivers are warning that households face paying $20 extra a week for grocery essentials because the federal Coalition has bungled a centrepiece of its budget cost-of-living measure to cut the cost of petrol.

In a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a copy of which has been obtained by this masthead, 11 trucking organisations have demanded an immediate meeting to work out a solution to the “unintended consequences” caused by the effective abolition of a mechanism known as the fuel tax credit.

Truck drivers are warning costs to households will have to go up despite the Coalition’s fuel excise cut.Credit:iStock

Warning that some truck driving businesses had already gone under, Australian Trucking Association chairman David Smith told Morrison the budget night decision was undermining the government’s own policy to reduce cost-of-living pressures on voters.

“The food supply chain can only keep shop shelves stocked if operators can offset the loss of the tax credit,” he wrote.

More on the changes to the fuel tax credit, and what it could mean for households, here.

Albanese sparks political storm by backing wage rise to match inflation

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has sparked a political storm by backing an increase to the minimum wage of at least 5.1 per cent despite businesses claiming the higher costs would destroy jobs, widening an election row over economic planning.

Business groups have rejected the opposition leader’s call to lift the minimum wage to keep up with inflation, arguing it would drive small employers to the wall because they cannot afford higher pay rates.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese backed an increase in the minimum wage to keep up with inflation.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his opponent was “running off at the mouth” and was unprepared to manage the economy after taking a new position on wages without releasing a formal policy to show whether business could sustain the increase.

However, the Australian Council of Trade Unions welcomed the support from Albanese, and some economists said many businesses could afford the higher minimum wage because the base rate did not apply to all workers, millions of whom are already paid more.

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, May 11. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has been criticised for backing a 5.1 per cent rise to the minimum wage to keep up with inflation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and business groups say small businesses would be unable to afford an increase. However, David Crowe and Angus Thompson write that unions and some economists have defended the Labor leader – with those groups pointing out that the base rate does not apply to all workers and millions of Australians are already paid at rates above the minimum wage.
  • Staying with the economy, and Shane Wright reports that truck drivers are warning households they could soon be paying an extra $20 a week in groceries because of the Coalition’s changes to fuel tax. Eleven trucking organisations have written to the PM to demand an immediate meeting to discuss a mechanism known as the fuel tax credit.
  • And in other news, Paul Sakkal writes that the Labor Party will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on new attack ads to air on Victorian television. The campaign will paint the PM as anti-Victorian.
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