The national employer association Ai Group has today released its submission to the Federal Budget process focusing on the need for the government to invest for the long-term, as industry navigates the short-term challenges of uncertainty, inflation and a slowing economy.
Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said: “Australian industry enters 2024 feeling anxious and pessimistic about the immediate future. While the Australian economy continues to slow, global uncertainty is growing and inflation and labour shortage pressures appear to be persisting longer than expected.
“Yet Australian industry also has to keep an eye on longer-term transformational challenges: the ‘Three Ds’ of decarbonisation, diversification and digitalisation.
“These transformations have a long-term time horizon measured in decades, not years. But they cannot be ignored, as getting them right will be key to Australia’s future wealth and prosperity.
An effective and successful 2024-25 Federal budget will help industry manage this tension between short-term challenges and long-term investment needs. It should focus on:
“Overarching these proposals is the pressing need for reform of Australia’s taxation system. This should deliver tax simplification, minimise ‘bracket creep’ and other unplanned fiscal changes, unlock opportunities for productivity-enhancing changes, and support the aspirations of people wanting to work harder and earn more.
“Underpinning our capacity to meet our challenges in the short and long term is the need for a clear-eyed focus on developing a workforce with the skills to thrive in a decarbonised, digitalised and more diverse future.
“Ai Group’s submission highlights key areas in which deep work is still needed in order to embed a tertiary education and training sector that allows Australia to achieve its human capital potential. Recommendations include:
“The budget should provide the framework industry needs to continue to invest and innovate for long-term transformations, even while business conditions are difficult in the short-term,” Mr Willox said.
Ai Group’s pre-budget submission and separate Budget Submission on Education and Training matters are available on the Ai Group website.