In particular, CPA’s budget recommendations lay heavy emphasis on helping small businesses. Source: Tim Mossholder from Pexels.
  • CPA calls for the government to pursue expansionary fiscal policy
  • Focus is on short-term recovery, long-term transformation and environmental sustainability
  • Urging to help small businesses that continue to be impacted by COVID-19

CPA Australia has recently submitted their recommendations for the 2021-2022 Federal Budget. Most notably, they have recommended the government pursue expansionary fiscal policies focused on “short-term economic recovery, longer-term economic transformation, and environmental sustainability.”

CPA Australia General Manager External Affairs, Dr Jane Rennie said, “Many businesses and not-for-profits are still focused on survival. This Budget should prioritise policies that are central to Australia’s economic recovery and delay or cancel policies that aren’t.”

CPA cites Australian Taxation Office research, which found that small businesses are many times more likely to seek advice from private sector providers as opposed to the government.

Hence, the submission recommends that the government provide small businesses receiving JobKeeper Extension payments financial incentives to access professional advice from their preferred provider.

Cutting taxes and red tape are other key recommendations of the submission, including bringing forward part of the stage 3 tax cuts for individuals and removing the fees government imposes on businesses (like fees imposed under ASIC’s industry funding model and ASIC registry search fees). Similar sentiments for deregulation have been echoed by REIWA, discussed in this article.

The submission calls for increases in public spending on repairs and maintenance of public infrastructure, with preference given to awarding contracts to local trades and businesses. CPA argues that such spending could result in the better utilisation of existing infrastructure and extending the life of such infrastructure.

The submission also calls for the government to encourage saving and investment. With more than 3 million Australians accessing their superannuation in response to COVID-19, the CPA is concerned with issues of equity over the long-term (inevitably wealthier Australians will be able to fund future lifestyles from retirement savings, while less wealthy Australians have much lower levels of retirement income due to having accessed these funds prior to retirement).

To ensure those Australians who accessed their super early are encouraged to top up their super balances, there are recommendations for limited amnesty, limited relief in the form of higher contribution limits, and a co-contribution scheme for affected fund members.

“Our Budget recommendations include a mix of initiatives to improve livelihoods in the short term and secure the nation’s long-term economic prosperity,” Dr Rennie explained.

“Small business is Australia’s biggest employer. Its importance to society cannot be understated. It is in the public interest that viable businesses are supported through this time so that they can continue to create jobs and sustain our economy.”

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CPA Australia’s full recommendations can be viewed on their Federal Budget Submission (2021-2022).

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