The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has accused Labor of playing ‘fast and loose’ with Australia’s economy, claiming its election campaign is anti-business and dangerous.
By announcing in Budget 2016/17 that the business tax rate would be reduced to 25 per cent over the next 10 years, the Government secured the support of business leaders across the country. And in return, by denouncing this proposal, Bill Shorten has put them completely offside.
Speaking to Sky News yesterday, chief executive of the BCA, Jennifer Westacott said, “It’s gobsmacking, it’s very dangerous … for our reputation and it’s dangerous to set us on the course that we are not going to improve our competitiveness.”
Noting that anyone who did not support business in Australia was endangering not only the jobs and future of 10 million people working in business, but also the ability to create more jobs, Ms Westacott stated, “I think people are bewildered by this attack. How are we going to grow our economy when 80 per cent of our economic output is dependent on business?”
Of concern to the BCA is the tight election result and the possibility of a hung parliament that the opinion polls are indicating. On the likelihood of this happening or an obstructive senate occurring, the BCA would, Ms Westacott said, “be arguing very hard to the Senate that it has stifled public policy in this country for too long.” [unclear where quote starts]
The BCA intends to run its own campaign in the lead up to Election 2016, with Ms Westacott stating, “If we head down the path of … more spending, a spending plan without a growth plan will just lead to crippling rates of taxation and more and more deficits and a very, very fragile and non-resilient economy.”
Read more at TheGuardian.com
With its mantra of ‘Jobs and Growth’, the Government has certainly caught the imagination of Australian big business, but what about the needs of ordinary Australians?
There’s no denying that Australia needs a strong business community in order to grow, but it also needs a business community that is willing to pay its way. No longer should businesses be allowed to flout tax laws by sending most of their profits overseas rather than back into the Australian economy. And to then offer such businesses a tax cut is simply adding insult to injury.
Years of giving grants and paying levies to overseas companies have done little to stop the rot in our manufacturing industry. Our natural resources have been pillaged, with the only benefactors the shareholders in large multinational companies. And we have very recently seen the contempt with which big business have treated our dairy farmers – bleeding them dry, yet still wanting more.
Big business does not need a tax cut over the next 10 years. The $50 billion it will cost to keep the big end of town happy is money that could be better spent on health, education, the environment and fairer social security payments for those most in need.
Do you agree that big business should not be receiving a tax cut? How would you like to see the $50 billion better spent? Or do you think that more should be done to appease big businesses trading in Australia?