A new OECD confirms Australia is falling behind in the global battle to attract the investment needed to create jobs, grow wages and boost living standards, says Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott.
Ms Westacott says urgent action is needed to boost Australia’s competitiveness or workers will be the losers.
“Investment fuels the productivity we need to get wages growing strongly, it creates new jobs and it breathes life into our regions,” she says. “Anything that weakens Australia’s capacity to attract job creating investments is a recipe for growing disadvantage and lower wages.”
Business investment as a share of GDP is at lows not seen since the end of the 1990s recession – with only 1 percent growth forecast for 2018-19, says Ms Westacott.
Removing barriers for new businesses
“If the parliament is incapable of lowering the company tax rate for all companies, we must find other ways to boost Australia’s competitiveness. That means taking action to reform badly designed regulation, removing barriers to starting new businesses and making Australia a more attractive place for global investors.
Ms Westacott says political leaders should examine options like investment or depreciation allowances.
“Doing nothing to shore up the competitiveness of our economy means surrendering our destiny,” she says.
“It would leave Australia and Australian workers at the mercy of gathering global economic headwinds.
“Our political leaders can’t afford to let 2019 be another year of inaction.”