This super tax subtracts directly from saving, it decreases future tax revenues and increases future age pension payments.

This shake-up of the personal income tax scale would boost incentives for lower-income earners to participate in the workforce. It would be of greatest benefit to low- and middle-income families.

COAG has taken important steps in helping the alleviation of skill shortages by agreeing to this raft of reforms.

This relatively positive end to 2005, if sustained early in the new year, could help rebuild confidence in the sector.

Consumers are worrying about interest-rate risks, their high credit-card bills and the fact that their houses haven't risen in value as much as last year.