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Ai Group Statement ahead of WA State Budget

"With many businesses in Western Australia facing tough and testing conditions, industry is looking for the coming State Budget to stimulate much needed confidence and growth through measures that improve the capabilities and capacity of the economy," Ai Group WA State Manager, Kristian Stratton, said today.

"This includes improving the cost competitiveness and lowering business costs for WA businesses and ensuring policy and regulatory settings in areas such as taxation and the provision and maintenance of infrastructure are conducive to strong productivity growth.

"The WA Government must also establish a plan for Budget repair to put the State on the path to regaining its AAA credit rating. The key to managing this task is responsible and prudent management of the State’s finances without resorting to higher taxes and charges," Mr Stratton said.

Ai Group has identified various broader policy priorities aimed at building the productive capacity of the economy, and creating a positive economic environment that reflects long term growth objectives. This agenda which we would urge the Western Australian Government to adopt includes:

  • Reducing the cost of compliance and regulation on businesses by cutting red tape, including the removal of regulatory duplication between agencies, and ensuring that existing or new regulations are well targeted and actually contribute to the outcomes being sought;
  • Taking action to substantially improve the competitiveness of the State's payroll tax regime which is an impediment to growth, investment and jobs in the state;
  • Addressing the State's infrastructure needs by progressing projects on the basis of a rigorous cost-benefit analysis approach that maximises the potential to generate the greatest economic and social benefits for people of Western Australia;
  • Ensuring the State's procurement policy maximises opportunities for competitive local suppliers including consistency in relation to Australian or international standards where relevant; and
  • Investing in education including supporting initiatives that promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills in schools, the tertiary education sector and the workplace.

Read full Pre-Budget Statement

Further comment:
Kristian Stratton – 0407 611 807