Government must be flexible on Economic Timetable
15 Feb 12
In light of the recent spate of job losses from industry the Gillard Government's budget focus for 2012-13 must focus on job protection.
The following is a press release from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Whilst this website tries to stay away from union and political issues, the press release makes some valid points, in particular that the Government may need to be more flexible in its timetable for a return to budget surplus, in order to protect industry and therefore jobs.
Press Release Reads:
In its submission to the Budget, the ACTU says priority must be given to creating and protecting jobs – and the government must be prepared to modify its debt reduction target if economic conditions worsen to the point jobs are at risk.
ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said Australia’s economy had been the stand-out performer among developed nations for the past five years and had survived any shocks thrown at it, but with much of Europe mired in recession and the high dollar hurting manufacturing and export industries, there was no room for complacency.
Mr Lawrence said unions recognised strong fiscal rules, including a pathway to return to surplus in 2013, were integral in the high-successful stimulus packages that ensured Australia was almost alone among developed economies to emerge unscathed from the Global Financial Crisis.
But more recent events mean that if conditions deteriorate further, the Government must be prepared to modify its timetable for returning the Budget to surplus.
“Given the uncertain global economic environment, the government must stand ready to adjust its fiscal priorities and its planned return to surplus in order to protect jobs,” Mr Lawrence said.
“We’re not suggesting that the Government should abandon its fiscal rules, but rather that its timetable for tightening fiscal policy should be contingent on macroeconomic conditions.”
Mr Lawrence said the 2012-13 Budget must also prepare Australia for life after a commodities boom that will not last forever.
“Ongoing support to assist industries under siege from the high dollar to transform and remain competitive must be provided by the Government,” Mr Lawrence said.
“To secure the gains from the boom for the next generation of working Australians, we need to put long-term sustainable job creation at the centre of economic policy. Secure jobs that pay decent wages and have workplace rights can be built on our economic strengths.”
It says that increased revenues can be obtained from removing excessive tax breaks for large companies; reducing tax avoidance and evasion by very high income earners; and cracking down on sham contracting and unreported earnings, which costs billions of dollars of lost tax revenues.
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