Budget treads a narrow path for the short term

Budget treads a narrow path for the short term

The federal government is treading a narrow path to tackle short-term demands, but 2024-25 Federal Budget prompts more questions about taming inflation and the medium-term sustainability of spending.

“The projection of a surplus for the current financial year is a positive. However, over the next four years, there appears to be little prospect of substantial progress towards further budget repair,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.

“Over this period additional spending means the budget deficit and net debt will both be higher than previously forecast.

“While the impact of the Budget on inflation is hard to assess, it would be difficult to accept the assertion that it materially reduces underlying cost or price pressures.

“Business is not asking for the size of the government to grow. This can only lead to higher costs and more taxes.”

Small business

“This year’s Federal Budget delivers slim pickings for small businesses,” Mr McKellar said.

“While ongoing energy bill relief is welcome, and the extension of instant asset write-off will help some businesses, there are limited measures to address the surging impact of red tape on small business.

“Incentives aimed at encouraging investments from businesses, especially small businesses, are crucial during a time of economic fragility.

“Small business owners are under significant pressure due to increasing regulatory complexity, rising business costs and worker shortages. Small business owners will find very little comfort or reassurance in this Budget.”

Skills and apprenticeships

“Business investment in training and the skills of their employees is a vital pathway to increased productivity. Many small and medium-sized businesses are keen to hire apprentices as a means of increasing their access to skills,” Mr McKellar said.

“The partial extension to support for the apprenticeship system over the next 12 months while a strategic review is completed provides some breathing space. However, it is unclear that this support will be sufficient to arrest the current downward trend in apprenticeship commencements.”

Future Made in Australia

“The much-anticipated A Future Made in Australia strategy provides a targeted but modest set of initiatives that focus on advancing the transformation to net zero emissions and other areas of business investment,” Mr McKellar said.

“A net additional investment of $22.7 billion in funding is, in context, not of a magnitude that will fuel further claims of a government picking winners. At the same time, this level of investment raises the question of whether A Future Made in Australia is the game-changer it purports to be.”

For more information:
Ashley Gardiner | Director, Media and Communications
P | 02 6270 8020
E | media@acci.com.au

‘Safety is everybody’s business’ this National Safe Work Month

‘Safety is everybody’s business’ this National Safe Work Month

Sound and robust work health and safety and workers’ compensation practices are crucial for a successful business. 

As Safe Work Australia members representing employers, ACCI continuously strives to work actively and cooperatively with regulators, unions and Safe Work Australia to deliver real improvements to the health and safety of Australian workplaces. 

We are encouraged in this work by the steady decrease in national work-related injury fatality rates since 2007. However, there is more we can do. No one should die or be seriously injured at work.  

Our members feel strongly that the prevention of workplace incidents, injuries and fatalities is part and parcel of doing business.  

“National Safe Work Month in October is an important event on the calendar each year as it highlights the importance of working together and having an open dialogue on work health and safety,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said. 

“Under the theme of ‘Safety is everybody’s business’, ACCI wants to reinforce that businesses who prioritise work health and safety create safe, healthy, sustainable and productive workplaces.  

“We want all of our workers to get home safely, and I encourage other businesses to join National Safe Work Month and raise awareness of work health and safety in their workplaces.”