An OECD report released overnight confirms that Australia is falling behind in the global battle to attract the investment we need to create jobs, grow wages and boost living standards, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“We now have the third highest effective marginal company tax rate and a federal budget more reliant on strong businesses than most comparable nations. Without action to boost our competitiveness it is Australian workers who will lose out.
“Investment fuels the productivity we need to get wages growing strongly, it creates new jobs and it breathes life into our regions. Anything that weakens Australia’s capacity to attract job creating investments is a recipe for growing disadvantage and lower wages.
“If the parliament is incapable of lowering the company tax rate for all companies, we must find other ways to boost Australia’s competitiveness . That means taking action to reform badly designed regulation, removing barriers to starting new businesses and making Australia a more attractive place for global investors.
“Now is the time for our political leaders to examine other options like investment or depreciation allowances.
“Doing nothing to shore up the competitiveness of our economy means surrendering our destiny. It would leave Australia and Australian workers at the mercy of gathering global economic headwinds.
“The OECD also reports that businesses deliver 16 per cent of all the budget revenues needed to fund the services and projects that matter – one of the highest shares in the developed world. More profitable businesses pay more company tax.
“Business investment as a share of GDP is already at lows not seen since the end of the 1990s recession while MYEFO forecasts that it will grow just 1 per cent in 2018-19. Our political leaders can’t afford to let 2019 be another year of inaction.”