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VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on a 2015 federal election

University of Canberra Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Frances Shannon and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics including the latest bump in the Fairfax Ipsos poll and the chance of an election in 2015, Andrew Forrest lobbying for an inquiry into iron ore prices, and the conditions at the Nauru detention centre.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that the government will not pursue an inquiry into iron ore prices. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Iron ore inquiry off but row continues

The government has given into the pressure from the big miners and formally abandoned the idea of a parliamentary inquiry into the iron ore sector.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has unveiled $350 million of new planned spending under a Labor government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Small business tax should be cut by 5%: Shorten

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called for a bipartisan push to reduce the company tax rate for small business from the budget's promised 28.5% to 25%.
New Greens leader Richard Di Natale has focussed on health, climate change and public transport in his budget reply. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Budget fails on climate change and renewables: Di Natale

Climate change should have been tackled and investment and jobs in the renewable energy sector protected in the budget, new Greens leader Richard Di Natale said in his budget reply.
Billions were expected to be saved from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – but surprisingly the budget only outlines $252 million in savings. Lukas Coch/AAP

Federal Budget 2015: health experts react

The big surprise about this year’s health budget was what wasn’t there – billions of dollars in expected savings from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s politically cautious second budget talks up business confidence. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Federal Budget 2015: Small business wins in grab for confidence

Treasurer Joe Hockey has unveiled a A$5.5 billion jobs and small business package to kick start confidence, in a second Coalition budget that strategically retreats from the harshest measures of its predecessor.
Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said a single online registration site for small business would be established. AAP/Alan Porritt

Budget to smooth the way for small business start-ups

Registration of small businesses will be streamlined as part of the government's package for the sector, which will be a centrepiece of Tuesday's budget.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott can use the latest Newspoll as evidence to his colleagues that he is clawing back. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor ahead in Newspoll, but Abbott gains ground on Shorten

The government goes into next week's budget trailing Labor on a two-party basis but satisfaction with Tony Abbott has risen to a seven month high in the latest Newspoll.
Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone said health approaches should change from “fixing the sick” to staying healthy as long as possible. AAP/Paul Miller

Business chief calls for ‘philosophical’ shift on health, education, retirement

Australia needs new "philosophical underpinnings" for the major spending areas of health, education and retirement income, Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone has said.
Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser says other wealthy nations have already pledged far deeper emissions cuts than Australia. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate Change Authority calls for 30% emissions cut by 2025

A report from Australia's Climate Change Authority recommends cutting greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2025 if the country is to be seen as a good global citizen in this year's climate negotiations.