By Robyn Molloy

Labor has vowed not to make changes to the petroleum rent resources tax, revisit the resource super profit tax or change the diesel fuel rebate if it wins government at next year’s Federal Election.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen made the assurance at a CCI-hosted business breakfast last week.

He said Labor was outlining its agenda now so businesses knew where they stood on the party’s priorities.

“People might quibble with parts of it, whether it’s negative gearing or capital gains tax but you know what we are going to do.”

He outlined his top five reasons why business would do well under a Labor Government if elected. These included:

  1. Stability in personnel and policy
  2.  Cheaper energy costs under Labor’s new energy policy
  3. Corporate tax rates the same as the Government plus 20 per cent write off of all investments over $20,000
  4. A pro competition policy that was not anti investment
  5. Continued economic growth with two priorities: investing in people via training and industrial relations reforms and through greater economic engagement in the Asia Pacific region.

Bowen highlighted Australian’s 27-year run of uninterrupted economic growth as a remarkable achievement.

“It’s the second longest period of economic growth of any country in the history of the world,” he told more than 130 business people.

With Indonesia on our doorstep and set to become the fourth largest world economy by 2050, he said Labor would prioritise lifting engagement with the region by ensuring Australians improved their skills in Asian languages and business literacy.

“We’re not engaged in the Asia Pacific region as a country anywhere near as we should be. We pretend we are, we tell ourselves we are, but as a country we are not,” he says.

Global trade wars were one of the biggest threats to Australia’s economy and the escalating trade battle between China and the United State was a major concern, Bowen said.

“I think at the moment we are seeing a trade skirmish and it could get a lot worse and there is not currently a self-evident roadmap out of it for either side,” he said.

“I think the impacts on the world of the two largest economies in the world engaging in a trade war are pretty negative, and the impacts on us for obvious reasons because of our links to China and also just the general instability in our region, could be quite deleterious for us as a country.

“It is even more reason for us to be preparing now and filling the policy cupboards with more weapons than we currently have.”