Reform now, at the high-tide of fortune  – PBS 2021/22

CHRIS RODWELL

CCIWA CHIEF EXECUTIVE

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) has today released reform recommendations to capitalise on WA’s extraordinary fortunes and improve our long-term competitiveness. The recommendations seek to take advantage of the current high tide in WA’s fortunes, which many expect to last only a few years at best.

CCIWA’s 2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission renews calls for reforms to limit costs for business, secure a skilled workforce and efficient infrastructure, reduce red tape to stoke innovation and investment, and position WA as a more attractive place to invest.

It includes CCIWA’s alternative model for payroll tax, with a higher threshold of $1.2m and a tapering rebate on liabilities. For medium-sized businesses, WA has the nation’s highest payroll tax burden – a barrier to diversification and a disincentive for businesses to grow and to hire Western Australians.

With four in five (79%) WA businesses struggling to fill a vacant role, we need to make it easier for WA mothers to re-enter work. The State Government should let Federal funds for kindy flow to WA kids wherever they’re being educated, not just in schools where operating hours don’t suit busy families.

CCIWA has also called for more resources to manage the transition to new workplace health and safety laws, more competition between energy retailers, and funding for the digitisation of government services.

Temporary factors are lined up in WA’s favour now, from high commodity prices, low interest rates, stimulus-fuelled homebuilding and the State Government’s success at managing COVID. CCIWA’s national survey shows eastern states businesses are looking more favourably at WA as an investment destination. None of this will last forever.

Some in our State say that full advantage was not taken to build a legacy from our last temporary growth surge. There may never be better or more opportune times for this Government to cultivate conditions for a more competitive, innovative and diverse WA economy for the long term.

READ MORE: https://cciwa.com/advocating-for-change/2021-22-pre-budget-submission/

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