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CPA warns against blind pursuit of surplus

CPA chief executive Alex Malley has said that while he is concerned about deterioration in the budget, a bigger worry would be “for our political leaders to continue the trend of chasing a surplus for surplus' sake”.

News Michael Masterman 15 December 2015
— 1 minute read

“Since 2010 I have said loudly and often that a surplus or a deficit is not a plan. It is an outcome of a plan,” Mr Malley said.

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“Australians are increasingly demanding a plan to frame our competitive future, and the Government’s recent National Innovation and Science Agenda is clearly laying the foundations of such a plan.

“It is very important that these foundations are not undermined by the current Budget situation and a desire to return to surplus as quickly as possible.”

According to Mr Malley, given the drop in commodity prices along with both muted wages and employment growth over the period, it is inevitable that the deficit will have increased.

Mr Malley said he believes today’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook release will remove any remaining doubt that the structural transition of the economy is more important than ever before.

“Initiatives such as the Government’s innovation and science package last week will play an important role in helping that structural economic adjustment to happen,” he said.

“Further, the business case for holistic tax reform expected to emanate from the tax white paper process is more important than ever.

“Many see the tax reform agenda as purely about tax. But tax is one of the most important economic levers at governments’ disposal – and that is why we need to urgently push ahead and get the settings right – at Federal, State and local levels,” Mr Malley said.

“The tax reform agenda is about much more than revenue-raising; it is about economic growth, encouraging investment, growing businesses and creating jobs right here in Australia – both now and for the future,” he said.

CPA warns against blind pursuit of surplus
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