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Bipartisan Budget agreement a strong step forward

"The agreement between the Government and the Opposition on the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill is an important start on the road to budget repair – and a good sign for the willingness of our leaders to work together in the national interest," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said today.

"Australia has a long-term challenge in returning the public finances to a position of sustainability. We need to start putting in place savings that will contribute to that goal over time. The $6.3 billion savings package agreed today makes a valuable start on that process.

"Industry has both wins and losses in the deal. The cut to the Research and Development Tax Incentive will not help industry invest in innovation despite this being a commitment of both major parties. Stability of policy is critical to the objective of greater business investment in innovation. On the other hand, the agreement on ARENA will ensure the continuation of significant grant funding for earlier-stage energy innovation.

"Importantly, the push and pull of negotiations between the parties has not diluted the overall savings achieved. And the negotiated outcome has a strong benefit of its own: broadly supported savings are much more likely to endure. That will be important as investors assess Australia's future prospects.

"Many have voiced doubts that the new Parliament could achieve much given the outcomes of the recent election. Today's agreement shows that the Government and the Opposition have the goodwill and the good sense to compromise to get things done. Bipartisanship is essential to grapple with our long-term challenges, of which the Budget is just one," Mr Willox said. 

Media Enquiries: Graham Turner – 0415 285 320