“The Queensland Government has delivered on many of its election promises in this year’s Budget, despite difficult economic circumstances,” Rebecca Andrews, Queensland State-Head of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.
“This is a no surprises budget, reiterating the Government’s priorities. The focus now needs to be on how the Government is going to deliver on these promises.
“Ai Group supports the substantial amount of State Government tax relief for Queensland businesses. Before the election, we called on the Government to commit to no increases in business taxes. The Government should be congratulated on keeping this promise. However, we strongly urge the Government to consider broadening the waiving of deferrals for businesses that are still struggling in 2021, regardless of their size, so that they are not hit with a payroll tax cliff just as they are looking to rebound.
“Ai Group commends the Government on its commitment to the manufacturing and defence sectors, including the $1 billion investment pipeline to expand the State’s manufacturing expertise in train building, the partnership with Boeing to manufacture unmanned planes, and continued support of Rheinmetall facility in Redbank.
“The lack of investment in the waste and recycling industry in this budget is disappointing. Future initiatives should be considered as part of the national effort, with harmonisation front of mind. This will maximise the value of any budget spend.
“Ai Group welcomes the Government’s investment in infrastructure and supports the pursuit of local procurement policies that enable the full and fair participation of competitive, locally-based suppliers. These policies will help draw greater benefits from these projects and their supply chains to create new jobs.
“The increased spending to support the recovery together with the sharp reduction in revenue means the State’s public finances have been severely impacted. A projected debt approaching $130B in a few years is breathtaking at first sight. While the prospect of very low interest rates for some time is of considerable comfort, Queensland’s fiscal situation will require very close monitoring. Over the next few years, the Government should lead reforms that deliver value for money in service delivery and that improve the operation of taxation arrangements both at state and national level,” Ms Andrews said.