Savings, Markets and Earnings :: Market news

Nations fiscal position deteriorates says parliamentary budget office

AUSTRALIA’S fiscal position deteriorated by almost $15 billion between the midyear budget reviews of the Commonwealth, state and territories and their budgets this year, the Parliamentary Budget Office says.

The projected national fiscal deficit from 2015/16 to 2018/19 of $137.1 billion compared to $122.3 billion at the time of the midyear updates of all jurisdictions.

The PBO said in a report today about 60 per cent of the deterioration in the national fiscal balance was due to a downward revision of $8.9 billion in the projected Commonwealth balance.

The PBO said the national fiscal balance is projected to return to surplus by 2019/20, driven by the states returning to the black in aggregate terms in that year.

National net debt is now projected to rise to $428.5 billion in 2018/19 (22.6 per cent of gross domestic product) compared with $397.6 billion (20.8 per cent of GDP) at the time of the midyear updates were delivered.

National net debt is projected to plateau in 2019/20 at $428.7 billion.

Sushi chain accused of wasabi terrorism

A JAPANESE sushi chain is being accused of “wasabi terrorism” after it admitted to heaping excess dollops of the pungent root into foreign customers’ food.

Osaka-based Ichibazushi issued an apology on its website Sunday, owning up to the charges but denying discrimination was at play.

It insisted that the wasabi-laced sushi was a response to many foreign-born patrons ordering extra portions of the fiery green paste used a condiment for the raw fish dish.

The chain did, however, acknowledge that some of its chefs had slipped copious amounts of wasabi reportedly sometimes twice as much as usual into unsuspecting customers food.

It was not immediately clear how many incidents there had been. Because many of our overseas customers frequently order extra amounts of pickled ginger and wasabi, we gave them more without checking first, the chains operator said.

The result was unpleasant for some guests who arent fans of wasabi.

The story was picked up by national media which pointed to comments online complaining of so-called wasabi terrorism -- and racism. That is no apology; its an excuse. What they did was a hate crime, @sakeuchi317 wrote on Twitter.