Media & Speeches

Take the brakes off South Australia

South Australian businesses can compete with anywhere in the world but to continue powering ahead they must be able to attract vital investment to grow, create jobs and find new markets.

Business SA is partnering with the Business Council of Australia to remind the community that the key to attracting investment in South Australia is a competitive company tax rate.

Reducing the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over a decade will send an important signal that South Australia remains open for business.

“South Australia’s great businesses, which employ thousands of locals, just want a fighting chance to be able to compete, expand their businesses, and develop new markets,’’ Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride said.

“When South Australia’s businesses are successful the benefits flow to the entire state with increased work for small businesses, more jobs and a better future for our kids.’’

“But right now, South Australia is being forced to compete at a disadvantage,’’ Mr McBride said.

Australia has one of the highest company tax rates in the world and investment flows to countries where the company tax rate is lower.

“This means South Australian businesses and South Australians are missing out on opportunities,’’ Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“We are kidding ourselves if we think we can impose one of the highest tax rates in the developed world on South Australian businesses and expect them to continue to thrive, invest and create jobs,’’ Ms Westacott said.

Small, medium and large businesses are the engine room of Australia.

They employ 10 million people, support the retirement savings of almost six million Australians and this year will pay over $80 billion in company tax.

Australia’s company tax rate has been frozen for the past 17 years while our international rivals have moved to make their company tax rates more competitive.

The United States slashed its federal company tax rate earlier this year from 35 per cent to 21 per cent. The United Kingdom has legislated to reduce its rate from 19 per cent to 17 per cent.

France, which has traditionally put high taxes on business, has said it will cut its federal rate from 33 per cent to 25 per cent.

The average company tax rate across the OECD today is 24 per cent while across Asia it is 21 per cent.