Jennifer Westacott interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

Event          Jennifer Westacott interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

Speaker       Ben Fordham, host; Jennifer Westacott, Business Council chief executive

Date            7 October 2020

Topics         2020 Federal Budget

E&OE

Ben Fordham, host 2GB: The business community is buzzing off the back of last night's budget. Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia. Jennifer good morning to you.

Jennifer Westacott, chief executive Business Council of Australia: Good morning Ben.

Ben: Is this the kick start that we were waiting for?

Jennifer: Absolutely, this is going to see businesses investing, it's going to see them getting up and running again. And that's really important for those million Australians who are out of work. The 11 million Australians who work for a business. This is great news for Australia.

Ben: The wage subsidies are the big boost right?

Jennifer: Well the wage subsidies but also the capacity for businesses to depreciate more quickly investments they make. And when they invest, they employ more people, they create work orders for another business. But the wage subsidies are hugely important because it means that a business will hire a young person, get that extra incentive to put somebody on. And those million Australians who are out of work, this is going to be their key ingredient to get their jobs back.

Ben: There's also this loss carry back measures. So this means businesses will get a refund on last year's profits to cover this year's losses?

Jennifer: That's hugely important. Because what that means Ben is that people have got some cashflow. So that means they can keep people working, they can keep paying people or in some cases, they can put some extra people on. This is all about creating jobs, getting those million Australians back to work. And that loss carry back is a really important initiative. Along with being able to get your investments depreciated more quickly, the wage subsidies you've talked about and huge amounts of money for training and support so people can reskill more quickly.

Ben: What about the criticism that there are no wage subsidies for anyone aged over 35?

Jennifer: Look I think you've got to target those people who have been overwhelmingly affected by this pandemic. And they have been young people in sectors like hospitality and tourism. The really important thing we need to do now is get businesses going again. Because they employ the bulk of Australians. And we've also got to target those skills packages. Particularly to people who are older, who've got less skills. So if you take the budget in its totality, I do think it has provided for those people but it has of course specially targeted those young people who are very vulnerable for not being able to get back into work.

Ben: Jennifer thanks for your time.

Jennifer: You're welcome thanks a lot.

Ben: Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia.