VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone has released the peak Victorian employers body's early analysis of the Federal Budget.
"The Budget is squarely focused on reducing the cost and size of government comes as no surprise and VECCI recognises the difficult financial position the government inherited and that the burden of restoring it to surplus must be shared across business and the community," Mr Stone said.
He said some positives for Victorian business included:
- $1.5bn commitment to East West Link Stage 2, which will deliver jobs and improved freight movement and commuter travel times.
- The recycling of proceeds from privatisation of government assets into new infrastructure and the creation of financial incentives for the Victorian government to do this.
- Confirmation of the previously announced cut to the company tax rate to 28.5% which will reduce the cost of doing business.
"It is pleasing that the Deficit Levy will be a temporary measure only but it is important that the Government sticks to its budget strategy and returns the budget to balance by 2018/19," he said.
"The reintroduction of the indexation of the fuel excise will raise business costs so it is at least a positive that proceeds will be directed into road infrastructure projects that will create jobs and boost productivity.
"Amid the changes to funding for assistance programs for business, there is still an important role for targeted industry assistance with measurable benefits that support industries in transition and/or with export potential, which appears to have been recognised.
"There will be some improvements to tourism promotion at a time when Australia needs to do more to leverage opportunities in the Asia century and particularly with China.
"The proposal to reduce the cap for the Government’s proposed Paid Parental Leave is warranted but given the overall state of the Budget, the scheme is still beyond what is affordable and the levy on big business remains counterproductive."
The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the state.