“The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) shows welcome signs of improvement but it also signals the key role the business community will play to strengthen the budget in the future,” said Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott.
“MYEFO clearly confirms that revenue growth is overwhelmingly driving an improved budget position.
“If the Parliament is not willing to support the Government in doing the heavy lifting on expenditure restraint, then business will need to do the heavy lifting on delivering economic growth.
“Now more than ever we must pull out all stops to accelerate economic growth and boost investment to ensure businesses can secure revenue and stronger growth.
“This will mean giving business the right environment to grow – for example a competitive company tax rate and a well-trained and highly skilled workforce.
“Delivering the remainder of the Government’s plan for a reduced company tax rate has to be the starting point.
“It has become even more urgent with the US Congress finalising historic cuts to business taxes. Australia’s competitiveness and capacity to grow will be dealt a blow if it doesn’t adjust.
“Wages growth remains a concern. The best way to boost wages will be through productivity improvements, a more competitive economy and a focus on growth.
“We note the Government’s higher education proposals and urge both sides of politics to focus on holistic reform of our higher education and skills sector, such as that recently proposed in the Business Council’s ‘Future-proof’ reform paper.”