Pulse Alert – News Pulse for December 20, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Startups worried ACCC’s proposed merger law changes could halt investment

As the dust settles on the debate surrounding the Australian competition regulator’s 378-page preliminary report into digital platforms Google and Facebook, founders are nervous that any changes to merger laws could limit their exit options.

The first preliminary recommendation of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proposed changing merger laws to take into account the removal of a potential competitor, as well as the amount and nature of data which the acquirer would likely gain

RBA Governor Philip Lowe has reportedly taken matters into his own hands to prevent a credit crunch in Australia

While the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBAReserve Bank of Australia www.rba.gov.au) appears comfortable with the current correction in Sydney and Melbourne property prices, at least based upon public statements, a report out today suggest policymakers are becoming increasingly concerned about the unwillingness of Australian banks to lend.

Fresh from warning last month that Australia’s “economy will suffer” should bank’s become “afraid to lend simply because of the consequences of making a loan that goes bad”, RBAReserve Bank of Australia www.rba.gov.au Governor Philip Lowe has reportedly taken matters into his own hands to prevent a potential credit crunch, meeting directly with each of Australia’s big four bank chiefs in recent weeks to push for them to lend.

Morrison government’s ‘PaTH’ internship program results in fewer than one in 10 interns scoring a job

The Morrison government’s “PaTH” internship program has signed up just 20 per cent of the businesses needed to hit its target while fewer that one in 10 interns have moved into full-employment.

The new figures show the $840 million program is falling short of its aim of getting 120,000 vulnerable Australians into job placements over four years, with only 36,290 securing a placement over the first two years of the program, costing taxpayers $14,393 per internship so far.

Government launches digital economy strategy 

Digital skills, government digital services, infrastructure, access to quality data and an ‘enabling environment’ are the federal government’s key areas of focus in a new digital economy strategy launched today.

The 52-page document – entitled Australia’s Tech Future – details “how Australians can work together to deliver a strong, safe and inclusive economy, boosted by digital technology” the government said.

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