Queensland Budget 2017
Queensland is home to almost 20 per cent of all small businesses in Australia, with 406,000 small businesses employing around 43 per cent of Queensland’s private sector workforce.
This percentage increases to almost 70 per cent when medium sized businesses are included. SME’s also make up 99.86 per cent of all businesses in Queensland, contributing around $100
billion to Queensland’s gross state product.
The 2017-18 State Budget represents a perfect opportunity for the State Government to introduce measures to kick-start Queensland’s small business economy in a time of transition.
CCIQ’s submission to the 2017-18 State Budget puts forward a series of levers available to the State Government to which all sides of politics can pledge their mutual support to ensure small business remains front and centre in driving Queensland’s economy forward into the future.
The 2017-18 State Budget must be one that boosts the small business economy by making Queensland the best state to do business in Australia. CCIQ has identified five critical areas for reform that if incorporated into the State Budget will immediately stimulate economic activity, as well as attract and retain investment in Queensland to ensure jobs growth.
READ OUR KEY PRE-BUDGET BLOGS
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- Budget boosts needed to solve energy pricing crisis
- Business sustainability programs vital to good ecoBiz
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- Queensland Budget 2017; what we know so far
These suggested budgetary measures will provide a big boost to Queensland’s small businesses and support a strong and productive economy in Queensland. It narrows its focus on five key areas that, if adopted, will bring about meaningful change to Queensland’s business operating environment.
It covers tax reform, employment and education reform, the importance of infrastructure investment, reducing input costs for small business, and looking to the future to small business growth and innovation.
The top 5 priorities for small business are:
- Payroll Tax Reform
- Workforce Skilling
- Infrastructure Investment
- Electricity Prices
- Small Business Growth & Innovation
Post Budget Analysis
No alarms and no surprises in middle of road budget
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s third and last Budget before the next State Election delivered few surprises or sweeteners for small business today.
CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Kate Whittle said the Queensland business community had hoped to see a “Back to Business Budget”, but the Labor Government had not offered significant support.
“The Premier said 2017-18 State Budget was a budget for battlers and builders. CCIQ was certainly hoping to see a bigger boost for small businesses,” Ms Whittle said.
“While there were some measures that are welcomed, such as a funding commitment to Cross River Rail, overall this was a mostly steady-as-she-goes Budget from the Treasurer, perhaps with an eye to holding further financial commitments back to an upcoming election.”
Ms Whittle acknowledged government plans to deliver narrow surpluses over coming years, however, CCIQ was concerned at Queensland’s $81.1 billion total debt bill over the forward estimates.
“Coupled with stubbornly high unemployment (predicted to remain above 6 per cent) in addition to zero growth in business investment, CCIQ believes the government has not focused enough on debt reduction,” she said.
“We welcome no new taxes or charges on Queensland business; a commitment from the Treasurer to keep workers’ compensation premiums at $1.20/$100 and a commitment to cover WorkCover premiums for apprentices; continued funding for CCIQ’s ecoBiz program that supports businesses to reduce their energy and water consumption and cut costs; and the continuation and expansion of successful programs, such as Back to Work.
“CCIQ was disappointed to see no specific measures announced in the Budget to arrest the steep decline of apprenticeship and trainee take-up – although we acknowledge the continuation of a 50 per cent payroll tax rebate for employers who take on an apprentice.
“With a predicted surplus, the business community had a clear expectation that infrastructure spending throughout Queensland’s regions would be increased to stimulate economic activity and create jobs, especially for the youth. But, sadly, this has not been the case.”
Ms Whittle said CCIQ modelling showed the best way to increase jobs growth was to incentivise small businesses to employ.
“That means lifting the payroll tax threshold from $1.1 million to $1.5 million, to create more than 2000 direct jobs across Queensland and many more indirect jobs.
“CCIQ was disappointed to see that the Treasurer was unable to use the surplus to lift the threshold on a tax that penalises businesses for giving someone a job.
“It is a serious matter for the business community and CCIQ will continue to fight for small business owners in this regard. We believe it is certain to be on the radar now in the lead-up to the next election.
“Overall, this is a middle-of-the-road Budget for Queenslanders, with no surprises and no real sweeteners. We feel the government could have done substantially more to support small business.”
READ OUR KEY POST BUDGET BLOGS
- No alarms and no surprises in middle of road state budget
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- Palaszcczuk and Pitt doing it by the numbers
- State budget announces new employer incentive for employing apprentices
- Talking rubbish in the state budget