AIG says govt's budget supports recovery and renewal

14 May, 2009

“The Budget supports the economy in these tough times while pushing the re-set button in a number of important areas," says Heather Ridout, the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group.

"These include infrastructure, education, science, innovation and welfare reform. The Budget is sober reflection of the severity of the global crisis and its sudden impact on Australia.

“The Government has mapped a strategy for returning the Budget to surplus over a period that is comparable with the experience of previous recessions. There are risks to the growth rates projected beyond 2009-10 and our assessment is that more savings may be needed to address these risks.

“The announced investments in road, rail and port infrastructure are particularly welcome. These investments will lift the productive potential of the economy over the long term.

“Ai Group also welcomes the additional resources devoted to education – particularly the key measures to boost participation, quality and the structure of higher education; and research, including in renewable energy as critical ingredients in building competitive advantage. The funding for improving commercialisation and collaboration between business and education and research institutes are vital elements in extracting full value from these investments.

“Measures for business include the increase in the investment allowance for smaller businesses, the additional funding for the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Scheme and the recasting of the Research and Development tax incentive. The extension of the First Home Owners Boost will provide additional stimulus to the housing industry and the many businesses supplying home construction,” Ridout said.