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Business Budget Checklist - Tax, Investment, Skills, Innovation

"Tomorrow's Federal Budget needs to set Australia up for long term sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive global economy while taking steps to shield us from the worst of any possible further downturn. It needs to put growth policies in place for well beyond a 2 July election where hopefully there can be bipartisanship around some of the major challenges we face," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said today.

"For Ai Group members tax relief to drive investment is the leading priority they are looking for the Federal Government to deliver in tomorrow's Budget.

"At the very least the company tax rate should be brought down to 28.5 per cent for all companies rather than just for those with under $2million turnover.  The Budget should also set out a path towards a 25 per cent corporate tax rate to bring us more into line with similar sized OECD economies.  A company tax cut will boost investment and innovation; lift the pace of jobs growth; and underwrite a rise in productivity and living standards.

"Business is also looking for the Government to set out a credible path back to budgetary sustainability.  This will require reductions in the trajectory of Government spending and increases in the trajectory for revenue growth.  A key element in achieving the latter is a pick-up in the pace of economic growth.  The path back to fiscal sustainability should not preclude investments being made in key ingredients of growth creation.

"The anticipated increased investment in infrastructure will be welcomed by business and the broader community particularly in the face of growing urban congestion.  The Australian economy stands to benefit greatly from accelerated and targeted infrastructure investment in high-priority projects.

"Developing the skills of the current and future workforce also ranks highly among the areas that business would like to see the Government address in the Budget.  Our education and training systems are failing to deliver the skilled workforce we need and better approaches are necessary particularly in vocational education and training (VET); language, literacy and numeracy and science, technical, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

"The Government's focus on innovation has been strongly supported by industry which is looking for announcements in the Budget that build further emphasis on innovation, research and development and commercialisation," Mr Willox said.
Innes Willox blog piece on the need to cut the company tax rate: http:/go.aigroup.com.au/bj 

Media Enquiries:  Tony Melville - 0419 190 347