Australia's productivity challenge

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is spot on to highlight Australia’s productivity challenge and has moved to restore the confidence of business to invest, Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“This is more than just a speech, it is a crucial signal to companies that the government is backing the economy, backing business and backing investment.

“Australian businesses are determined to expand, and invest in innovation and their people and they want to see a return on their investment but this is currently being undermined by concerns about the global economy and Australia's relative competitiveness.

“As the Treasurer says ‘there are no easy answers or silver bullets’. Improving productivity will take a concerted effort from business and the government working together to remove the roadblocks that are holding our nation back.

“Higher productivity is the key to better living standards and higher wages growth.

“The Treasurer’s push to create the right incentives for workers and businesses mirrors the Business Council’s call for action to make the nation more competitive.

“This involves lower taxes, cutting red tape, building infrastructure to address congestion in the cities and attract people to the regions, giving Australians the skills and training they need to keep pace with workforce changes, and ensuring workplaces operate in the best interests of everyone.

“We welcome the Treasurer's acknowledgement that the right settings need to be in place to encourage business investment and his decision to place the need to improve productivity on the Treasurers' COAG agenda.’’