The Business Council strongly endorses the government’s view that now is the time to hand the baton of growth to the private sector, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“The upcoming federal budget must fast-track the baton change from the government to the private sector, unshackling business so it can hire, invest, export, innovate and expand.
“This means addressing the speedhumps that threaten to stall the recovery and continue to stand in the way of building a more dynamic, competitive, globally facing and advanced economy.
“We must reopen our doors to the rest of the world, to bring back the skilled migrants, the investment dollars and bring back students and tourists to our shores. We stand ready to welcome news of the expected imminent reopening of our borders.
“It also means generating the productivity growth needed to underpin growth and support sustainable increases in wages.
“To do this we need to get the conditions right for businesses to invest in the new industries and new technologies that drive higher skilled and higher paid jobs. The most critical challenge is to make sure the skills system gives all Australians access to those jobs.
‘The Productivity Commission’s five yearly productivity review comes at a critical time when Australia needs to turn around its productivity performance.
“The review needs to examine the areas holding back productivity gains including skills, investment and regulation.
“We welcome the Treasurer’s announcement of the review and will actively support the Productivity Commission in this important work.
“We also welcome the decision to clarify tax deductibility of rapid antigen tests and other COVID tests and to immediately exempt such tests from the FBT rules.
“The BCA has been a strong advocate for this change and the government has listened to business on this issue and responded quickly and decisively with a practical solution.”