QLD budget an 'opportunity' to drive confidence

22 May, 2014

"With Queensland's productivity and competitiveness under significant pressure and growth still sluggish, the forthcoming state budget is an opportunity to boost business confidence which is currently taking a battering," says Ai Group's Queensland Director Jemina Dunn.

In releasing a Pre-Budget Statement, Dunn asserted: "A recent Ai Group survey of industry found the majority of Queensland businesses see infrastructure investment and tax cuts as the key budget priorities for Australian governments."

"Ai Group's pre-budget statement focuses on these areas recommending both a reduction in the payroll tax rate along with asset recycling to drive investment in high quality productivity lifting infrastructure.

"Investment in skills and training, along with innovation to underpin growth, together with reorganising training and skills arrangements to ensure they are led by industry are also key components of Ai Group's prescription for increased productivity," Dunn said.

"A reduction in payroll tax rates would be a much-needed boost to business confidence at a time when many Queensland businesses are under immense pressure.

"Improved competitiveness is necessary for the Queensland economy to generate the jobs and income growth that will come if businesses can make inroads into export markets – particularly in Asia – and overcome stiff competition from imports.

"This week's announcement that Queensland workers compensation premiums will fall by an average of 17 per cent in 2014/15 lays a solid groundwork in terms of lowering business costs that the budget can further build on to give Queensland businesses a head start on the competition.

"We appreciate that the Government faces challenging fiscal circumstances while having to deliver on these policies and provide essential government services, given an uncertain global economic outlook, a soft Australian economy and decisions taken regarding funding allocation to states in the recent Federal budget. However, now more than ever it is critical we pull out all stops to give Queensland businesses every chance for success," Dunn said.

Ai Group's QLD Pre-Budget Statement