The Business Council’s pre-budget submission calls for measures to:
Reopen the economy
- unlock the economy with a national risk-based plan that links the vaccine roll-out with sensible measure to unwind restrictions, and
- end knee-jerk state border closures to rebuild confidence and create new jobs.
Position the budget for growth
- put in place a fiscal strategy to support growth, and
- be transparent about the level of debt the economy can cope with and work towards that as the core target.
Drive new job creation and investment
- extend the government’s temporary expensing measure until 2023 to bring forward projects, let businesses expand and employ more people
- a broad-based 20 per cent investment allowance that makes us a more competitive place to do business, start big projects and create jobs
- make the Foreign Investment Review Board more effective by streamlining the process for low-risk investments, and
- speed up the process of getting rid of red tape which is holding back investment.
Get research and development right
- turn Australia’s world class ideas and research into jobs by setting national priorities and focussing on our existing and emerging strengths
- assistance should be scaled for impact and not be spread too thinly
- the scheme should support partnerships between universities and business, and back in the modern manufacturing strategy, and
- be willing to co-invest with the private sector and universities to grow new industries which will grow new jobs.
Build the infrastructure we need
- infrastructure projects to pursue a place-based approach
- all jurisdictions to implement best practice strategic planning and planning approvals systems that lead to faster and lower cost approvals for projects of all sizes, and
- a renewed focus on regionalisation.
Create an energy system ready for the future
- put in place a 2050 net-zero target across the economy, so everyone knows where we are heading and when we’ll get there, and
- prioritise investment incentives for the energy sector and decarbonisation projects.
Skill up the workforce and return people to work
- provide additional funding to support at least 1,000 new digital micro-apprenticeships
- give Australians the skills they’ll need for free for new jobs including the basics with a national scheme to build basic literacy, numeracy and digital literacy through a foundation skills guarantee
- properly recognise short courses and micro-credentials through a national skills passport that works like a digital CV, and
- boost women’s workforce participation by reducing the disincentives to work in the child care subsidy and increasing paid parental leave and encouraging more equal sharing of care.