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Disciplined budget secures moderate Growth

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Disciplined Budget Secures Moderate Growth

RICHARD SEDDON National Chief Executive

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Statement by: Richard Seddon National Chief Executive Australian Chamber o f Manufactures

The Treasurer has brought down a disciplined and fiscally responsibleJBudget.

The surplus is very good for confidence. Together with the modest domestic stimulus and improved export support, it sends a most positive signal to business and strengthens our capacity to deal with the impact of the Asian problems.

The overall Budget thrust goes a long way to securing the environment for moderate growth while directing targeted relief to families and the needy.

DONALD ALEXANDER National Manager - Policy and Communications

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By consolidating the economic improvement o f the past two years, the Budget also strengthens the platform for tax reform. This is the next challenge - and industry looks forward with considerable expectation to the release o f the tax policy.

On specific initiatives:

* The tax break for companies to deal with the millennium bug is good news for smaller and medium companies who have been unable to allocate the funds needed to come to grips with this problem.

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* The removal o f import duties on telecommunications and similar equipment is a plus for investment. ACM would like the Government to take the next step and abolish all duties on imported inputs where local substitutes are not available.

* The improved support for families, including the health package and funding for home and community care, provides welcome support for the needy.

The Budget strategy is very much in line with ACM’s submissions on behalf o f industry. It provides a moderate stimulus to cushion the impact o f the Asian ACM Internet Home Page: economic slowdown.

However, the forecast deterioration in the current account is a serious concern. The Government will need to closely monitor the situation with a view to further action if necessary.

12 May 1998

The improved export funding provides a timely shot-in-the-arm to develop new markets to offset the decline in exports to Asia. While the increase does not go as far as industry would wish, it will have a beneficial impact on companies and jobs.