GAINS FOR CAPITAL

The top 10% of income earners reap 80% of the benefit of Australia’s generous capital gains tax discount.

Numbers released by the Tax Office, crunched by the Grattan Institute, and served up ($) by The Australian Financial Review today reveal that those earning over $110,000 per annum are the big winners of the 50% discount on income derived from capital gains.

While it’s no surprise those at the top are saving the most thanks to the 1999 reform, the Grattan Institute report shows that from 2003 to 2014 the benefit has become more heavily concentrated: in 2003-4 the top 10% of income earners wrestled only 70% of the benefits.

It’s a good time to be among the Australian super-rich. The Sydney Morning Herald today also reports a “massive leap” in the number of billionaires. Australia now boasts 33, double the number from a decade earlier.

“The richest 1% of Australians continue to own more wealth than the bottom 70% of Australians combined,’’ Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke told the paper.

AUSSIES ACED

The last local hope for the Australian Open singles title has departed the competition.

Seventeenth seed Nick Kyrgios was overcome by world number three Grigor Dimitrov overnight in an enthralling four set showdown. In a notable turnaround, Kyrgios had the Melbourne crowd on side as he battled through three tie-breaks but failed to overcome his Bulgarian opponent.

On Saturday, rising Australian star Ashleigh Barty also exited the tournament with a third round defeat to Naomi Osaka.

A number of Australians remain in contention for the doubles titles.

It was a tough Sunday for Australian sport with the men’s cricket side also going down in the third One Day International to England, handing the tourists just their second one day series victory in the country in 30 years.

England upped the run-rate late thanks to a an undefeated hundred from Jos Buttler. Australia ended 16 runs short of the 302 run total.

The Australian side have now lost 10 of their past 11 one day fixtures.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

“Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

That was US President Donald Trump‘s response to the women’s marches around the country over the weekend, which drew hundreds of thousands to the streets of major US cities on the one-year anniversary of the president’s inauguration.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Craig McLachlan set to sue Fairfax, ABC over sexual harassment claims ($)

Pauline Hanson’s bitter struggle to retain One Nation Senate seat ($)

Cairns Hospital sends abortion patients to Sydney ($)

US blasts China on security and trade ($)

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Around Australia: The 10th anniversary of the death of actor Heath Ledger.

Canberra: The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is due to table its report assessing the Australian Electoral Commission’s procurement of services for the 2016 election.

Sydney: A funeral will be held for actress Jessica Falkholt, who had her life support turned off on January 11 after a horror car accident on Boxing Day.

Los Angeles: The 24th Screen Actors Guild awards will be held.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Australia Day debate: There are 364 other days to wear a black armband — Tony Abbott (The Australian $): “Doubtless, you’ll hear a lot from me this year about ending the emissions obsession that’s sending power prices through the roof and killing industries. I’ll have more to say about scaling back immigration (even though migration is central to our national story) to keep wages up and housing prices down. And regrettably, there will be too many instances of political-correctness-gone-crazy to criticise and correct.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

If milk prices went up like private health insurance … — Bernard Keane: “Because PHI is propped up by taxpayers, it adds over $6 billion a year to the Commonwealth’s deficit via the private health insurance rebate — $6 billion a year plus interest that future generations of taxpayers will have to pay off to subsidise the healthcare of generations who had more affordable housing, little or no tertiary education debt and cheap coal-fired power.”

Meet the think tank guru looking for love from Labor — Guy Rundle: “Fullilove is an energetic and well-respected commentator, with the pale moon-tan of the true library-bound scholar: an expert on Franklin D. Roosevelt and his staff and advisers, his work is nevertheless somewhat limited in appeal by its uncritical nature: his very useful Rendezvous with Destiny, which follows the pathways of FDR, Harry Hopkins and other senior pro-British “brains trusters” in 1939-1941, manages to make the actual entry of the US into World War II a somewhat dull affair — a curious achievement.”

The Myanmar military has a long, practised and sordid history of deceit — Sean Gleeson: “This decade, with the Tatmadaw no longer at the helm of state, the junta’s constitution renders its ranks immune to criminal prosecution and enshrined a commanding role for the army, independent of civilian legislators. The myriad civil conflicts that have plagued the country for 70 years continue unabated, and jail or death awaits any serious challenge to military authority.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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