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Industrial Relations tops survey of business priorities for next government

The top five business policy priorities for the next government should include industrial relations, cutting red tape and tax reforms, a new survey released this month says.

Ai Group surveyed over 330 businesses in the manufacturing, services and construction sectors on their policy priorities. Industrial relations reform to boost productivity was the number one overall priority for Australian businesses (on a weighted average basis) and almost a quarter (23.1%) nominated it as their biggest concern.

Top five business policy priorities for next government (on weighted average basis):

  1. Industrial relations reform to boost productivity — number one priority overall and major concern for manufacturers (31.3%).
  2. Reducing red tape and regulatory duplication — second overall, with 23 per cent of respondents nominating it as their highest priority for the next government. This is a particularly important issue for small businesses and for construction companies (40 per cent of whom nominated it as their highest priority).
  3. Reducing company tax rates and implementing tax reform — renewed calls to implement Henry Tax Review recommendations including cutting company tax rate to 25 per cent and revisiting GST.
  4. Investing in physical infrastructure — ranked by 17 per cent of businesses as their number one priority. Infrastructure investment was seen as a relatively high priority for NSW businesses.
  5. Encouraging workforce skills and training — a relatively high priority for construction businesses in Queensland and Western Australia where skill shortages have been particularly acute.
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