Business calls for parties to improve Australia’s competitiveness

12 May, 2016

The priority for parties in this federal election must be to get Australia back into the top ten most globally competitive countries over the next ten years, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on 9 May 2016.

James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber, said: "Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition Leader Shorten need to tell Australians what they will do, if elected, to ensure our standards of living continue to rise as we move beyond the mining boom.

"We face economic challenges at home and abroad, and can’t afford business as usual. 

"In the past decade Australia has slipped from 10th to 21st on the Global Competitiveness Index. This is unacceptable. Without real reform, we will drift further.

"This election campaign, the Australian business community calls for all parties to commit to policies to improve our nation’s competitiveness. 

"These policies include encouraging more young people to undertake apprenticeships, building the infrastructure we need without political interference, giving managers and workers the flexibility to reach workplace arrangements that suit their needs, containing government spending as a share of the economy and supporting investment through reducing the company tax rate.

"It is vital that parties are economically responsible. Australia can’t live beyond its means. Every dollar of additional debt places a bigger burden on future generations. Every dollar of additional tax drags down growth by discouraging effort and enterprise.

"Both parties need to subject their policies to scrutiny from the Treasury, Department of Finance and Parliamentary Budget Office.

"This federal election, the Australian Chamber, the voice of more than 300,000 enterprises employing more than four million people, will advocate for business."