Business priorities reaffirmed in the lead-up to State Election

Business priorities reaffirmed in the lead-up to State Election

Business trading conditions in Victoria remained positive over the September quarter but business confidence is fragile leading up to the November State Election, according to the latest Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Survey of Business Trends and Prospects.

Responses to special questions included in the latest survey reinforced the importance of the Victorian Chamber’s Stronger Business, Stronger Victoria state election priorities, which includes payroll tax – with 32 per cent of businesses indicating that they would increase their workforce if the payroll tax threshold was increased to $850,000.

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Mark Stone AM said Victoria’s current payroll tax threshold is the least competitive amongst all Australian states and it’s taking its toll on Victorian businesses.

“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs. Ahead of the Victorian State Election we are calling on bi-partisan commitment to increase the tax-free threshold to $850,000, so that small businesses are encouraged to grow and create more jobs,” Mr Stone said.

Survey results also reaffirm the Victorian Chamber’s call for more to be done to boost apprenticeships and traineeships – a widespread problem for industry with almost half (48 per cent) of respondents finding it difficult to attract and retain apprentices and trainees.

“The number of apprentices and trainees training has fallen by 50 per cent since 2012. The next State Government must address the barriers to the uptake of apprenticeships and apprenticeships completion,” Mr Stone said.

Despite a lower Australian dollar, export activity dipped during September.

“With less than three per cent of Victorian businesses currently exporting, it is concerning that the survey shows more than a third (36 per cent) of businesses are finding it difficult to expand into international markets.

This is why the next state government needs to make exporting more accessible for small and medium businesses,” Mr Stone said.

In the lead-up to November’s State Election, the Victorian Chamber will keep advocating on behalf of Victoria businesses to ensure Victoria’s economy remains strong and competitive.

The latest edition of the Victorian Chamber’s Survey of Business Trends and Prospects explores a range of topics, including the overall business sentiment in Victoria, current and anticipated business conditions in Victoria.

The summary of the survey is available on the Victorian Chamber website. The full report is exclusively available to Victorian Chamber members.

/Public Release.