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Budget 2008: Reaction

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General

“It is a budget that strengthens Australia’s economic foundations and delivers for working families under pressure.”

“It is the responsible budget our nation needs at this time of international turbulence and high inflation at home.”

Wayne Swan – Federal Treasurer

“Comparing the Treasurer’s rhetoric this year to the budget papers, we have to ask whether Mr Swan knew what was in the budget.”

“After years of Coalition tax-cutting budgets, Mr Swan is introducing new taxes to raise the cost of alcohol, motor cars, health insurance and energy – all of which contribute to inflationary pressures.”

Malcolm Turnbull – Shadow Treasurer

“Inflation is still pretty high. So that tells you it’s a struggle to wind back inflation and there is nothing there that the Reserve Bank will tick off and start cutting rates, so we still have the impression the Reserve Bank will have a tightening bias out of August.”

Michael Blythe – Chief Economist Commonwealth Bank

“Real spending is set to grow at half the rate we have seen in recent years. It is commendable that this has been achieved without sacrificing spending in key areas such as education and infrastructure. This will take pressure off the economy and increase our capacity to grow over the longer term.”

“Significant investment in infrastructure and education is critical to sustaining Australia’s economic prosperity,” he said.

Greig Gailey – President Business Council of Australia

Skills & Training

“The budget generally honors our expectations, with two standout additional initiatives we didn’t expect. Firstly the additional funding  towards high schools and vocational education and training programs. Also Brendan O’Connor’s announcement to better connect with employers. We consider that quite innovative and should see better efficiencies.”

“The devil will be in the detail. At this stage we are pleased. The [budget] is on the right track taken as a whole.”

Mary Hicks – Director of Education and Training ACCI

Infrastructure

“There is certainly a lot in there for infrastructure and federalism generally. I think it is generally favourable for the market. I think the Reserve Bank will be quite happy with that.”

Joshua Williamson – TD Securities senior strategist

We welcome the establishment of the Building Australia Fund as an effective way of ensuring that today’s strong revenue growth can be better directed to meet Australia’s long term infrastructure needs. The emphasis on careful prioritisation of investments, coordination across governments and rigorous vetting of projects is very positive.

Business Council of Australia Statement

“With the 3 funds announced we are keen for the money to be spent in line with a rigid cost-benefit analysis. An audit is priority to ensure full social and economic benefit.”

Greg Evans – ACCI Director of Industry Policy and Economics

“This puts money behind a fresh start and should provide the foundation for a much-needed expansion of our national capacity and a lift in productivity.”

Heather Ridout – Chief Executive Australian Industry Group

Small Business

“Additional funding has been made over the next 4 years so we now call on the Federal Government to ensure that duplications and areas of need are identified and dealth with.”

“In this budget the Government re-announced their additional funding for the Business Enterprise Centres being $42 million over the next 4 years. However the Howard Government’s Business Entrepreneurs Program will be cut including the Small Business Field Officers, a saving of $10.5 million.”

Statement from Council of Small Business of Astralia

“Jobs and training are of central concern. We are happy with vocational education and training being promoted. It should be a first step into more significant money into training.”

Tony Steven – CEO Council of Small Business of Australia

Tax Reform

“Company tax reform will be the next cab off the rank. There will be significant surpluses going forward and we expect a fall in the tax and regulator burden on companies.”

Greg Evans – ACCI Director of Industry Policy and Economics

 

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