This is a strong and sensible budget focussed on growth and built overwhelmingly on the contribution of the business community, says Business Council of Australia chief executive, Jennifer Westacott.
The budget is stark proof that when business thrives, Australia thrives.
A strong business community and sound budget management by the government has delivered the dividend of tax relief for low and middle-income earners, increased support for older Australians and funding for much-needed infrastructure.
Growing and confident businesses have delivered the revenue which has helped the budget to return to surplus, as well as continue to sustainably fund the services that all Australians depend on and expect.
Company tax revenue over the forward estimates is $15 billion higher than forecast in last year’s budget – and that is after the first tranche of the Enterprise Tax Plan.
By 2021-22 business will be paying $100 billion a year in company tax and over the next decade this will reach a cumulative $1 trillion – even after the full implementation of the Enterprise Tax Plan.
This budget is proof that when business activity grows, when you get the settings right and the economy grows, tax revenues go up too.
It was 30 years ago that the Hawke Labor government cut the company tax rate from 49% to 39% to turbo-charge economic activity and it contributed to a 50 per cent increase in company tax revenues.
It is time to end the nonsense that economic growth is at odds with fairness. The exact opposite is true. We cannot have a fairer society with a weaker business community and a sluggish economy.
But as tonight’s budget makes clear, there remain many risks in an economy still relying overly on the terms of trade and at the mercy of global uncertainties.
We need to get the settings right for business to improve competitiveness to continue to drive economic growth.
It would be self-defeating to abandon the growth strategy, weaken the business community through uncompetitive taxes and switch to a high-taxing approach.