The powerful lobby, the Australian Industry Group, has conducted a survey of businesses to find out what they want from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first Budget next week on May 13.
And the message from industry is that it wants to see the tax burden on companies eased, a lift in investment in infrastructure and for the Budget to be balanced within five years.
According to the Ai Group Pre-Budget survey of 364 businesses, 70% rank reducing the company tax rate as one of their top three priorities for the 2014/15 Budget.
This is closely followed by increasing spending on infrastructure (68%) and bringing the Budget into balance over the next five years (57%).
These leading preferences are followed by increasing spending on training and apprentices (39%), raising tax incentives for industry research and development (39%) and bringing the Budget into balance within two years (28%).
Across the sectors, the tax burden on business is ranked as the top priority both by manufacturers (37% of manufacturers rank it as their number one priority and 76% as one of their top three) and services businesses (31% nominating tax as their number one priority and 64% as one of their top three). Construction businesses rank infrastructure spending as their top Budget priority (29% as their number one priority and 60% have it in their top three).
Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said:
“Australia is facing a sizeable reduction in mining investment and a risk of a slower-growing and more fragile economy. Reducing tax burdens on business would boost investment and help grow and rebalance the economy. The time is also right to lift the pace of infrastructure investment with the clear need to address the infrastructure backlog matched by capacity becoming available as mining-related construction projects are completed.”
The results of the Australian Industry Group survey:
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