19th May 2019

Returning Coalition Government must focus on policy reforms to lift business investment 

Sydney, Sunday 19 May 2019: Building a more productive, competitive and innovative Australian business sector should be the number one economic priority for the returning Scott Morrison-led Coalition Government, according to the Australian Investment Council.

“Congratulations to the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and his Liberal National Party Coalition colleagues for being returned to government by the Australian people on Saturday,” said Australian Investment Council Chief Executive, Yasser El-Ansary.

“While it is still unknown if the Coalition will govern in majority or through minority, it is vitally important for the Australian economy that there is stability and certainty in our parliamentary process. We urge all elected members of parliament to put the national interest first in all decisions made in the new 46th Parliament,” he added.

Businesses, as well as domestic and international investors, are now looking to the new government to follow through on its commitment to deliver reforms in key areas such as taxation, business investment and productivity. “We look forward to working with both the Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition to create a business environment where new investment across all sectors of the economy is encouraged,” said Mr El-Ansary.

During the election campaign, the Australian Investment Council released ‘Investing for Growth – Policy Proposals for the Incoming Federal Government’, which put forward a set of policy recommendations that would encourage greater capital investment into Australian businesses which have the potential to help create a more prosperous economy and community for the future.

According to the most recent NAB Monthly Business Survey, business conditions and business confidence are both tracking below average, and have lost significant momentum over recent months. Part of the job of the returning Coalition Government will be to take steps to restore business confidence and encourage investment for the long-term.

The Australian Investment Council’s recommendations included continued government support for the crucial R&D Tax Incentive for startups and SMEs, boosting investment into high-growth Australian companies through regulatory changes or equity co-investment programs, and industry-backed changes to make Australia a more attractive destination for domestic and offshore institutional investment. 

“In the global competition for capital and talent, we can’t afford to waste any opportunity to improve market conditions that support investment into areas like research and development or productive capacity, the upskilling of employees or attracting overseas talent,” according to Mr El-Ansary.

The Australian Investment Council’s ‘Investing for Growth’ blueprint recommends that the federal government should commit to: Improving superannuation policy to incentivise greater emphasis on after-fee net returns Maintaining certainty and openness of Australia’s foreign investment and trade policy regimesImplementing a new limited partnership collective investment vehicle to encourage offshore investmentEnhance the R&D Tax Incentive Program to encourage investment in innovationIntroduce a world-class talent visa program to enable fast growth businesses to attract skilled talent from offshore to help grow the Australian economy, andEncouraging greater levels of social impact investment in Australian social enterprises.

The $30 billion private capital industry invests billions of dollars each year into a wide range of businesses spanning every industry sector of the economy. Implementing policies in-line with the recommendations set out in the blueprint would help to expand the pipeline of capital available to support high-growth potential Australian businesses by improving their productivity and becoming more internationally competitive.   

-ENDS-

Read a brief political summary of the election results, and the implications of a returning Coalition Government, for the business sector and the Australian economy, prepared by Newgate Australia.