Business budget wishlist: more productivity and competition

THE Australian Industry Group has called for cuts to the payroll tax, a reduction in red tape and increased focus on promoting numeracy and literacy skills in schools ahead of the release of the New South Wales Budget.

The association of more than 60,000 Australian businesses released its pre-budget wishlist in a push for increased productivity and competitiveness in the private and public sectors.

"Although the NSW economy is strengthening, many businesses across major sectors of the economy continue to face tough and testing conditions," Ai Group NSW director Mark Goodsell said.

"The 2015-16 Budget must also demonstrate a commitment by the government to delivering genuine tax reform and reducing the cost of regulation and compliance on industry.

"This is vital to attract investment in the state's economy and assist NSW businesses to develop and gain market share domestically and internationally.

"A further major element to maximising the growth potential of NSW is ensuring that industry is able to meet its current and future skills needs.

"We believe that the government's role in relation to addressing these issues lies with funding major initiatives to lift school sector literacy and numeracy, and developing initiatives that promote STEM skills in schools, the tertiary education sector and the workplace."

Mr Goodsell welcomed the pending long-term partial lease of the state's electricity network assets as a means of supporting substantial infrastructure investments.

"We also commend the NSW Government for taking a leading role in the development of innovative ways of recycling capital to fund infrastructure investment," he said.

"It is important, however, that the government shoulders greater responsibility in the co-ordination of infrastructure projects so as to avoid infrastructure capacity constraints and enable major projects to be funded and developed in a timely manner."

The NSW Budget will be handed down on Tuesday, June 23.



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