CCIQ State Budget Submission
CCIQ has today publicly released its 2012-2013 State Budget Submission, provided to the state government last month.
At the outset CCIQ wishes to highlight that it is strongly committed to the State Government’s efforts to stabilise debt levels, return the budget to a fiscal balance by 2014-15 and regain Queensland’s AAA credit rating.
CCIQ’s submission was developed in response to the findings of the Interim Response to Commission of Audit.
In it CCIQ outlines the expectations of the business community ahead of the state budget on September 11.
CCIQ believes that the first budget delivered by Treasurer, Tim Nicholls MP, is crucial as it will set the agenda for fiscal reform and debt management and should provide Queensland with sustainable public finances.
Building upon ‘Big 3 For Business’, CCIQ has put forward 10 recommendations and key points that will help Queensland’s budget and the small and medium business community.
CCIQ is not calling for a further improvement in the competitiveness of Queensland’s business operating environment, as we believe that the existing commitments made during the state election campaign will, when delivered, provide a significantly beneficial impact to small business and the wider economy.
Given the enormous task facing the Queensland Government it is only sensible that the business community is fair in our requests to the state government.
The business community understand and appreciate the difficult task of repairing Queensland’s balance sheet and ensuring that, as a state, we can live within our means.
CCIQ President David Goodwin said, "Business understands the challenges facing the state government."
"The state budget will be a balancing act as treasury balances the books and delivers strategies to grow Queensland’s economy across the medium and long term.
“You can’t just cut your way to being debt-free – you need the twin pillars of fiscal responsibility and growth in the private sector and this is what we have seen from the state government so far.’
"Debt and reckless spending is beginning to be addressed, and the changes to the payroll tax burden, the removal of the waste levy, the easing of red tape and the commitment to a four pillar economy will ensure that Queensland’s economy grows, is diverse and less reliant upon the resources sector.
"A balanced budget will influence business and consumer confidence, spending and investment decisions. Small and medium businesses are the engine room of Queensland’s economy and when they are confident and their consumers are confident, the economy grows, employment grows and Queensland flourishes."
CCIQ RECOMMENDATIONS & KEY POINTS
- The Queensland Government must adopt strategies that achieve a more efficient and effective public sector. Such policies would bring about a return to a budget operating surplus and the restoration of the State’s AAA credit rating. The State Government has the full support of CCIQ in this regard.
- CCIQ supports the State Government’s set of fiscal principles due to their strong alignment with CCIQ’s own fiscal statement for Government.
- CCIQ favours achieving a fiscal surplus (over an operating surplus) by 2014-15.
- CCIQ urges the Queensland Government to cement in its long term strategy ensuring we continue to have a business tax regime that is the most competitive of all States.
- CCIQ is supportive to the State Government’s efforts to reduce the State Government Service head count by approximately 20,000 FTE positions.
- CCIQ supports the Commission of Audit’s recommended two stage process of stabilising the growth in debt and returning the budget to a General Government fiscal surplus by 2014-15; and reducing the accumulated Total Government debt to restore an AAA credit rating and provide a buffer to keep that credit rating. However CCIQ does not support reducing the debt to revenue ratio to 60% believing the target is too aggressive. CCIQ believes a more appropriate target should be 75% - 85%.
- CCIQ would cautiously support the implementation of a Queensland budget deficit levy and a primary residential property land tax to assist in returning the budget to surplus by 2014-15.
- CCIQ supports the use of asset sales provided the proceeds are used to retire debt and only after the embedded structural state budget deficit is addressed.
- CCIQ strenuously opposes any consideration of payroll tax or any other business tax being increased in the future to achieve the second stage of the Fiscal Strategy.
- CCIQ is committed to working with the Queensland Government in partnership to highlight the impact of red tape and help identify opportunities for reform. CCIQ avails itself to assist each State Government Department to reduce their portfolio’s regulatory burden by identifying regulatory hot spots and actioning specific feedback and case study examples of priority areas.
A copy of CCIQ’s State Budget Submission can be downloaded at www.cciq.com.au/statebudget