The mid-year budget update shows the budget is still on track to return to surplus but that more needs to be done to accelerate economic growth so Australians can get ahead, Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“The government has done the hard work and we’re on track for a surplus after a decade of deficits. A surplus is good news for Australians and should not be compromised.
“Now, our focus should be on driving the economy harder, and the private economy will need to do the heavy lifting. The forecast for new, job-creating business investment growth has been downgraded to just 1.5 per cent in 2019-20.
“Our challenge is fundamentally about driving new investment with the right tax incentives, regulations, infrastructure projects and skills to make Australia globally competitive.
“The government has taken the first steps by reducing unnecessary and inefficient regulation which holds businesses back from investing for growth and creating more jobs. We need to continue that focus to unleash new investment opportunities, letting Australian businesses expand, invest and create new jobs.
“Delivering faster growth also means we need the right tax incentives in place to make Australia a competitive place to invest. And we need a skills system that works attract and maintain new investment in Australia.
“The conversation Australia needs is not about short-term stimulus, this is not the problem we need to solve. Instead, we need a national debate about getting the right structures in place to drive business investment and sustained, faster economic growth.
“The Business Council will release a comprehensive plan to accelerate economic growth later this week.”