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TMCNet:  Productivity and Tax Reform Key to Improving Australia's Economic Outlook

[December 18, 2013]

Productivity and Tax Reform Key to Improving Australia's Economic Outlook

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ADELAIDE, Australia, Dec. 17 -- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia issued the following news release: Today's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirmed the need to lift productivity and promote business and growth, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.

Chief Executive Officer Lee White said that productivity needed to become more than a buzz word.

"The federal government needs to implement policies that will drive business activity and entrepreneurialism across all sectors.

"The fast-tracking of mining approvals is to be welcomed, but other sectors need a leg up as well, particularly small business," he said.

Mr White said the MYEFO figures also highlighted the need for tax reform to prevent any further erosion of the budget bottom line, instead of solely relying on savings measures and economic growth.

"2013 has been a year of perpetual write downs in revenue. This decline is clearly a structural problem in our economy that needs to be addressed.

"The government must start to outline its tax reform blueprint so we can move towards a more sustainable tax base. This includes looking at the role a broader base GST with a higher rate might play in the tax mix.

"This will help deliver the fiscal capacity needed to cover the expected increases in expenditure in healthcare, infrastructure and education," Mr White said.

Mr White said that while the government had taken a more realistic approach to reining in the deficit, the business sector will expect the 2014-15 Budget to unveil a viable plan for returning to surplus.

"Dropping the political deadline to achieve a surplus by 2016-17 goes some way to relieving undue pressure on finding quick savings that might work against the productivity agenda," he said.

"But that doesn't absolve the need for a commonsense plan to get the budget back into the black. Difficult decisions will need to be made.

"The government has made a good start in ordering the Commission of Audit and a number of other reviews to identify efficiencies in current spending and help develop measured, forward-thinking policies.

"Importantly, these reviews are providing business and the community with an opportunity to provide their expertise and experience," Mr White said.

TNS 18EstebanLiz-131218-30FurigayJane-4581600 30FurigayJane (c) 2013 Targeted News Service

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