15 October 2020

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has commended the Federal Budget designed to create jobs and get Australia moving again but has repeated its call for the Government to now address the longer-term need for reform.

“The Federal Budget released last week is designed to reboot the economy which faces the bumpy road of a pandemic fuelled recovery,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“We all understand the level of debt that Australia now finds itself with but unfortunately, this is unavoidable if we are to get the country moving again.

“We need to get the doors of small business and the borders open again, create jobs and get the cash registers humming again, in order to recover and grow in a new ‘COVID normal’ world.

“This Budget is regarded as being all about ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’. However, it is important that we focus on ‘reform, reform, reform’; specifically, reform to taxation, reform to regulation and reform to workplace relations.

“The measures taken in this Budget such as JobMaker hiring credit, JobTrainer, enhanced and extended instant asset write-off, the second Women’s Economic Security Statement, Boosting Apprenticeships Wage Subsidy, the Digital Business Plan, additional R&D incentives, boosting mental health support, and insolvency reforms all point to important measures designed to provide structural support to small business.

“Most of the tax measures are temporary in nature and while they will bring forward significant activity over a one to two year period, we will need the next series of structural reform measures to create the foundation needed for a longer term prosperity.

“Budget announcements are the easier part of the solution which is an important element of the economic reboot. The hard part is still to come and that is structural reform which we acknowledge comes with political risk but is essential for sustainability and to reap the benefits of this early investment.

“Long term economic stability and prosperity will only come once we address the structural deficiencies of our tax system and in the broader economy and remove the regulatory burdens that form a wet blanket on small business survival and growth.

“It’s relatively easy to spend money which is necessary for the reboot versus structural reform which is hard work and will take courage to deliver.

“It is therefore essential, that we pursue the holy grail of meaningful and holistic reform if we are to grow from this reboot phase to kicking the real goals the economy requires for a sustainable and prosperous future,” said Mr Conway.