Solomon Lew calls for urgent passage of tax legislation package

Statement from Solomon Lew regarding tax legislation

It is imperative for business and consumer confidence that the federal Parliament act in the national interest to urgently pass the Government’s tax legislation package.

It is extraordinarily frustrating for the business community to observe the legislation being treated as yet another display of partisan political point scoring. This serves only to demonstrate a clear disconnect between the urgent needs of the economy and Canberra’s political games.

Australia’s retail sector employs almost 1.3 million people. As the Chairman of Australia’s largest listed discretionary retailer, I am in our stores at every opportunity, talking with our team and our customers.  I can see that confidence is low. You only need to look at the factors that are impacting households to understand their nervousness – declining property values and rising costs of living, particularly energy bills which are only going to get larger. Poor confidence leads to weak spending, and this is having an impact on economic activity and growth.

Retail is at the pointy end of low consumer confidence and will benefit from the legislation being passed. This is not merely self-interest from a shareholder perspective (a position that all superannuation fund members share) but also speaks to the fact that the retail industry is Australia’s largest employer. Tax cut dollars in the hands of consumers support jobs.

It’s irresponsible to play political games with the prosperity of the country.

The Federal Election is over, and it is now time to implement the key policy the Government took to the people, and not re run campaign arguments which the election result emphatically resolved. 

Business and consumer confidence is underpinned by a strong economy and sound public policies to provide sufficient judgement of certainty for investment and spending. For Australians, a responsible Opposition is as important as a responsible Government.

Enough point scoring, talking points and seeking side deals. The economy needs stimulus measures now and legislation which provides certainty for tax cuts now and in future years is a critical and welcome measure.

I urge the Federal Parliament to set aside partisanship and support the Government’s tax package without delay for the benefit of the nation and the broad economy.

/Public Release.