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Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)
A prominent business group has thrown its support behind the Turnbull government’s flagged personal income tax cuts for this year’s budget while urging it to stick to its guns over a corporate tax break.
In its pre-budget submission, the Australian Industry Group also says the government must maintain migration intake at 190,000, responding to former prime minister Tony Abbott’s call for it to be cut.
“The upcoming federal budget represents an opportunity for the government to set Australia up for a prosperous, sustainable future in an increasingly volatile and rapidly changing local and international environment,” the group’s chief executive Innes Willox says.
The 2018/19 budget submission, released on Tuesday, calls for the budget to remain on a path to fiscal sustainability while providing personal income tax relief, particularly for lower and middle-income households.
“This budget is an opportunity to tap into improvements in the revenue outlook to strengthen the budget position and to reinforce renewed business optimism to drive jobs growth and business investment,” Mr Willox said.
The Ai Group believes a “good proportion” of savings from greater program efficiency and any bottom line improvements should be directed to more quickly achieving a sustainable budget position.
It says the government’s 10-year enterprise tax plan aimed at cutting the company tax rate to 25 per cent should be accompanied by a program of broader tax reform measures to make the system more sustainable, efficient, simple and fair.
The group calls for funding for a national industry skills development and training support program to focus on digital skills, organisational change, workplace innovation and management development.
It also wants the government, NBN Co and industry to work together to make the most of broadband for business, while seeking support for firms to increase their cyber security skills.