Australia’s economy is not growing fast enough to deliver higher wages growth and better opportunities for all Australians, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“These numbers are clear, we need to come to terms with the fact that Australia’s economy is slowing and productivity, which is the key driver of wages growth, is going backwards.
“We need to pull out all stops to accelerate our rate of growth, building a more resilient and innovative economy that provides more opportunities for all Australians. Employers are ready and willing to work with the government on common-sense measures that deliver the higher investment, skilled workforce and international trading opportunities Australians expect.
“The parliament must work with the government to deliver faster economic growth. Personal income tax reform to deal with bracket-creep and put more money in the pockets of everyday Australians are a good start, now we must act to implement a long term growth agenda.
“Over the past 55 years the Australian economy has grown at an average of around 3.5 per cent, today’s numbers show that our growth rate is just 1.8 per cent. Our current rate of economic growth simply cannot deliver the new jobs and higher wages Australians need.
“Australia’s slow economic growth leaves us exposed to gathering economic headwinds. Only with a plan for a more competitive and productive economy can we provide Australians with a buffer against an unpredictable global economy.
“A slowing economy isn’t just about numbers on a spreadsheet. Weak economies are those that see people losing their jobs, see regional towns struggle to stay afloat and see young people missing out on the opportunities they deserve.
“It is time for the parliament to recognise its responsibility to Australians and get serious about delivering the policies that supercharge investment and put more money in the pockets of everyday Australians.
“Politicians, business and the community must act together to deliver the world’s best skills system, to attract the investment Australians need and give Australian workers a modern workplace relations scheme.
“Australians deserve a thriving economy and access to the new opportunities they want for themselves and their families. Only a thriving business sector can deliver a stronger Australia.”