Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
What business should demand of PM



Download PDFDownload PDF

Senator Jim Short. Shadow M inister for Finance and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on Commonwealth/State Relations

ACTING SHADOW TREASURER SMF5/92

WHAT BUSTNESS SHOULD DEMAND OF PM

In their meetings with Prime Minister Keating businessmen and their representative organisations should not be backward in their demands in telling the Prime Minister what is really needed to get Australia working again.

The Hawke Government ignored the pleas from business to act to remove barriers to employment and investment and micro-economic reform.

If the Keating Government is serious about sustainable mid to long term economic reform then it has to start listening and acting.

The Coalition's "Fightback" package provides a good starting point for businessmen when compiling their own list of much needed reforms.

Examples of specific demands from business should include:

* abolition of employment taxes such as payroll tax and the superannuation and training levies;

* abolition of taxes on exports, in particular the ramshackled wholesale sales tax regime and excise duty;

* deregulation of the labour market to allow employers and employees to freely negotiate contracts of employment, stipulating conditions and levels of pay;

* reductions in personal income taxes to encourage savings and provide an incentive to work;

* streamlining the approval procedures for new development projects, abandonment of the three mines uranium policy, the reversal of the Coronation Hill and Wesley Vale anti-employment, anti-development, anti­ export decisions;

* introduction of tax free savings accounts and greater flexibility in superannuation to encourage saving; COMMONWEALTH

P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY M IC A H

* introduction of a goods and services tax (with necessary compensatory means) to tax all Australians when they spend rather then when they earn, export or save; χ

* acceleration of micro-economic reform in tandem with reductions in tariffs;

* alter the capital gains tax to make roll-over provisions for small business and encourage greater employee share ownership;

* introduce training wages (AUSTRAIN) to encourage the employment of unemployed and disadvantaged labour force participants;

* expenditure cuts to ensure that there is no blowout in fiscal policy and no new unfunded expenditure promises.

These measures would reduce the cost burden to business by $20 billion and ^ make them more efficient and internationally competitive, thereby stimulating Jvestment, economic activity and job growth.

Moreover, the "Fightback" package has been endorsed by most peak business/employer organisations including the Business Council of Australia, MTIA, CAI, MTAA, HLA, VECCI, Australian Institute of Company Directors, ASBA, NFF and others. This is an acknowledgment that the "Fightback"

initiatives are both realistic and workable.

"Fightback" clearly signals the dimension of response required to resuscitate the Australian economy and to get business back on its feet.

Experience has shown the Labor Government that half hearted efforts, such as the 1991 March Industry Statement and the October dobs Statement, are not the solutions to Australia's worst recession in 60 years.

"Fightback" provides a real vision for Australia's economic recovery. Businessmen in their discussions with Prime Minister Keating and his Ministers must send a clear signal that the Government has to match "Fightback" with their own vision, z Nothing less will do.

Melbourne 14 January 1992

[Contact Senator Jim Short (03)387-4177 or (03)380-2714]