State Budget fundamentals key to better business confidence
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says the upcoming State Budget must lift business confidence and provide stable, consistent fiscal and economic policy to ensure small businesses continue to invest and employ.
CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Kate Whittle said it was critical Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s third Budget set a clear direction about State Government priorities, as well as provide the short-to-medium term incentives to spur business investment and encourage private sector job creation, particularly throughout regional Queensland.
“With an anticipated operating surplus due to higher coal royalties, CCIQ urges the government target the unexpected surplus throughout Queensland’s regions, as well as invest in incentives to encourage economic activity and job creation,” she said.
“CCIQ believes it is possible to provide well-targeted stimulus measures while concurrently improving the state’s financial position with prudent management of government spending.”
Ms Whittle said despite the predicted operating surplus, there remains a fiscal deficit of $1 billion, with CCIQ consistently citing concerns about general government sector expenditure.
“The challenge for the Treasurer and this Budget is to exercise expenditure restraint to below long-run average revenue growth and continue to rule out any new taxes or charges on business,” she said.
“This Budget must be one that brings business back to budget as a priority by implementing effective boosts to small businesses and spurring economic activity across Queensland’s economy.”
CCIQ today releases its submission to government, Back to Business Budget: Big Boosts for Small Business, which outlines five key priority areas to kick-start the economy:
- Lift the payroll tax exemption threshold, which is a tax on employment and a penalty for giving someone a job;
- Improve regional employment outcomes by prioritising workforce skilling to get young people into jobs;
- Increase infrastructure investment to create jobs, boost apprenticeship numbers, and increase productivity;
- Introduce measures that will immediately reduce electricity price rises; and
- Introduce targeted programs to promote small business growth.
“The government has an important role to play going forward and the 2017-18 Budget will set the tone and policy vision for the State Government in a potential election year,” Ms Whittle said.
“While Queensland is continuing to transition to a post-mining boom economy, with some industries and regions adapting to the new environment easier than others, Queensland still faces significant economic challenges and the government must address them.
“CCIQ’s top priorities – as identified by Queensland small businesses – will give our economy the kick-start required, by placing the business community front and centre.”
Read our 2017-18 State Budget Submission here.
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