Chamber applauds State Government’s private-sector approach
THE Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has welcomed the State Government's mid-year fiscal and economic review, which confirms significant progress towards restoring a fiscal surplus for 2015-16.
CCIQ general manager of advocacy Nick Behrens said the lower-than-anticipated fiscal deficit for 2013-14, confirmation of a surplus by 2015-16 and a lower peaking of gross borrowings would be met with approval from the state's business community.
"This State Government is applying a private-sector approach to restoring the fiscal integrity of the state budget," Mr Behrens said.
"Quite simply when revenue is not covering operating expenses for business, the last thing they do is increase prices as it will lose them market share.
"They instead seek to grow their market or reduce expenses where possible.
"Today's announcement shows this is exactly what the State Government is in the process of doing."
Mr Behrens said the government had rightly resisted union calls to increase taxes.
"This is a reckless suggestion by the unions, which would significantly diminish the competitiveness of our business operating environment and impede the state's ability to retain and attract investment and jobs," he said.
"Having a low-tax state for business is a means of growing market share, as it will inevitably attract business that will stimulate economic activity and inevitably taxation receipts.
"The approach of the State Government to instead reduce expenditure resonates with business community actions following the GFC."
Mr Behrens said CCIQ was pleased with the State Government's efforts to reduce average spending growth from 8.9% pa in the decade to 2011-12 to just 0.2% for 2012-13.
"With a fiscal surplus just around the corner it is right to turn our attention towards the $80 billion in accumulated debt. Relying on surpluses alone will take us a decade to get our AAA credit rating back," he said.
"Accordingly, the debate on asset sales has to be had in 2014 and the scoping studies announced last week will allow for an informed debate prior to the next state election.
"CCIQ approves of the progress to date in addressing the State Budget's embedded structural deficit and the government's commitment to ensure future generations are not burdened with unsustainable debt levels."
The CCIQ has previously called for debate on asset sales in the interest of the state's economic future.
In early December Mr Behrens said the state's debt situation would continue to impede Queensland's economic potential and backed yesterday's announcement by the government to commission scoping studies into some assets.
He said Queensland's debt rose to unsustainable levels under the previous government and continued to plague the economy.
Being a member of the Warwick Chamber of Commerce and Industry helps you to network and work with other business people in our community.
Membership is due in January each year and is for 12 months. For information visit warwickcommerce.com.au