Support productivity, employment and GDP growth: CPA Budget

| September 1, 2020

The 2020-21 Federal Budget should aim to fund policies which support productivity, employment and GDP growth without compromising long-term environmental sustainability, according to CPA Australia.

Dr Gary Pflugrath, CPA Australia’s Executive General Manager of Policy and Advocacy said as and when businesses begin to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, for most it will not be a return to business as usual.

“The Budget should focus on policy measures which encourage and support business recovery and reinvention.

“Given the magnitude of the economic pain being felt by many due to the restrictions which have been imposed, a holistic approach to policy development post-COVID-19 is required,” he said.
CPA Australia’s submission urges a Budget which is focused on:
• providing longer-term support to encourage business recovery and reinvention;
• improving Australia’s international competitiveness;
• addressing the impacts of climate change; and
• providing additional support to businesses impacted by the tougher Stage 4 restrictions, such as those currently being experienced in Greater Melbourne.
“With Australia facing the likelihood of Stage 4 restrictions being imposed in other jurisdictions in response to future localised outbreaks, new and enhanced temporary support measures in this Budget should not only be rolled out to support businesses impacted by the current Greater Melbourne restrictions, but be structured for quick roll-out in other jurisdictions if the need arises,” Pflugrath said.
CPA Australia calls for measures which are efficient, effective and sustainable, and which have certainty in their implementation, operation and timeframes.
Its Budget recommendations to Government include:
• Allocating significant funding to encourage businesses to seek professional advice to assist them to adapt to a changing business environment.
• Consider developing new programs, and significantly increasing funding for existing programs, which assist small business digital transformation.
• Consider providing direct financial support for small businesses to engage approved e-commerce platforms on which to sell their products and services.
• Funding the development and implementation of a long-term climate change strategy that ensures Australia meets its Paris Agreement obligations.
• Increased funding for the development and deployment of green technologies.
“Consideration of climate change policy must be a core principle in post-COVID-19 recovery,” Pflugrath said.
“This Budget should also take into account strategies which accommodate an orderly and tapered withdrawal of stimulus and support measures.
“Businesses need space, time and resources to adjust to the new environment, and having access to professional advice is essential to aid their recovery and reinvention,” Pflugrath concluded.
CPA Australia believes that these recommendations will assist Australian business to weather the current economic challenges, improve livelihoods, increase competitiveness and help address the challenges of climate change.
CPA Australia’s submission can be accessed here.