Priorities for a stronger and fairer Australia

No matter who forms government, the priority must be accelerating economic growth, Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The Australian business community stands ready to work with all parts of civil society and government to deliver the higher growth Australia needs to achieve greater fairness.

“We want all Australians to be better off, sharing in higher living standards, higher wages, stronger jobs growth, and more choices and opportunities. But these cannot be achieved without accelerating economic growth.

“A stronger and faster growing economy is central to addressing the fairness equation.

“Improved growth will lead to increased wages for all Australians, which the Business Council believes is needed. We also support a Productivity Commission inquiry into entrenched disadvantage and changes to address the inadequacy of Newstart.

“Without growth, we cannot deliver the increased revenue to fund the safety net, and better world class services in health and education.

“We want to work together with the next government to deliver the right environment for businesses to invest and drive productivity to achieve a more resilient and competitive Australia.

“To attract more investment, we need to get cracking on giving Australians access to the skills and training they need.

“We need to ensure infrastructure commitments are rolled out quickly, and we need to reduce the burden of unnecessary red tape and regulation.

“We need action on implementing a stable and enduring energy and climate policy that encourages innovation and technology change to reduce emissions while delivering reliable, secure and affordable energy.

“Attracting more domestic and international business investment is central to driving innovation, job creation, and delivering higher wages through higher productivity.

“We want to work cooperatively to make sure the enterprise bargaining system is lifting productivity at the workplace level with workers sharing in the benefits.

“And, whatever we do post-election, Australia must guard against restricting the availability of credit. Limiting the flow of funds to small businesses, households, farmers, and medium to larger businesses, will make it harder to grow the economy.

“Economic growth has averaged 3.5 per cent over nearly six decades.

“If we can return to that average, then by 2055 average real incomes would grow from around $75,000 today to around $160,000 a year in today’s dollars.

“This faster rate of growth would also help deliver an extra $290 billion-plus of tax revenues in today’s dollars to spend on schools, hospitals, services and infrastructure.”

The Business Council is committed to working with whoever is elected on Saturday to achieve these essential goals for a stronger, fairer Australia.

Download the Business Council’s  Plan for a stronger Australia here.