FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan must take action in next week's budget to address the escalating costs facing the nation's businesses, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged.
Of the 1700 businesses - 29% of which were based in regional Australia - canvassed as part of the ACCI's pre-budget survey, 72% said easing the growing cost of doing business was the government's number one economic challenge.
Next in the order of priorities were fixing employment regulation (54%) and relieving the tax burden (51%).ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said a "whole of government approach" was needed to address the problem.
"These findings can't be ignored as they confirm just why the Reserve Bank cut rates this week - to take cost pressure off doing business.
"Next week's budget and the next government must respond likewise, without requiring monetary policy to carry the full load," Mr Anderson said.
"There are especially telling results for small business which comprised 60% of survey respondents and who feel disenfranchised by the political system if 11,000 supporter voices on ACCI's Small Business Too Big to Ignore campaign is any measure."
Company tax reductions, personal income tax reductions and abolishing the carbon tax were identified as the top three tax reform priorities for the next federal government.
ACCI PRE-BUDGET SURVEY
The key concerns revealed by the survey of 1700 business:
- Increase in the superannuation levy (63%)
- Current level of government spending (61%)
- Cost of red tape and regulatory compliance (60.4%)
- Tax system complexity (56.5%)- Level of taxation (53.2%)
- Complying with employment laws (52.1%)
The results of the survey can be found at www.acci.asn.au.
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