“Rudd will kill jobs”; “Bosses warn of Rudd Rollback costs”; “Labor’s IR stand risks jobs”. The Oz has no doubt about today’s main theme.

“Let’s not forget workchoices is unpopular” writes Mike Steketee, also in the Oz.

“Polling conducted by the ACTU a month ago suggests the views about Work Choices are very lopsided. In findings reported more fully in the news pages today, only 25 per cent of voters said they supported the measures and even fewer, 13 per cent, thought the laws were likely to be good for the average worker. Fifty-nine per cent sided with the union position on unfair dismissals, compared with 30 per cent who sided with the government’s position. As for Australian Workplace Agreements, 69 per cent agreed that individual contracts gave too much power to the employer and 24 per cent disagreed.”

Indeed, Morgan Poll data also shows how unpopular workchoices remains. And the editorial asserts that “Battlelines now clearly drawn.”

There was a radically different take from The Age. Comrade Rudd has taken on the unions and “The Tolpuddle Martyrs would be turning in their 19th-century graves.”

Undoubtedly this is the big battleground for the next election. Henry suspects that the ACTU poll has not properly represented the army of contractors and owners of small businesses.

Only time will tell but Rudd’s Labor is fighting well. And Mrs. Thornton has just said that Labor has promised to provide a radically simpler way to do the quarterly BAS. Where do I vote … ?

In other economic news, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,800 for the first time overnight, breaking the records set the week before the index tumbled 416 points in one day in a late-February worldwide sell-off.

The US Dollar lost further ground overnight, allowing the Pound to move further over $US2 (a 26-year high), the Euro above $US1.36 and the Aussie closer to US84c. It is probably not a coincidence that the Dow record occurred whilst the US dollar hit record lows – the weak US dollar helps make US stocks good value for foreign investors.

New Zealand inflation came in below market expectations with a quarterly increase of 0.5% and 2.5% for the year (down from 2.6%). However, of particular concern for the RBNZ is non-tradeables inflation – ie. domestic inflation – up to 4.1% annually from 3.8 per cent three months ago, a sign that domestic demand remains strong. Some are betting on another rate rise next week, which would put the official cash rate at 7.75%, among the highest in the developed world.

Reag more at Henry Thornton.