Statement from Alex Malley, Chief Executive of CPA Australia

Date issued: 13 August 2013

“Today’s release of the Pre-Election Economic and Financial Statement – known as PEFO – is welcome news and it marks the real start of the election campaign.

They are no surprises in today’s Treasury figures – they are in-line with those released in the Economic Statement just 11 days ago on 2 August 2013.

What we’ve now got is confirmation that our economy has challenges, with growth slowing, debt increasing and unemployment edging higher. What business and all Australians are looking for from both major parties is clear and concise policies coupled with a vision for Australia’s future.

The game playing around calls for costings to be released is nothing more than a distraction. The real requirement is for detailed, well considered and forward-looking policies to be released and discussed over the remaining weeks of the election campaign.

What the economic figures show is that Australia is at a tipping point, which makes this a watershed election. The national interest would be better served by less point scoring and more of a focus on the serious issues facing Australia.

Jobs – both sustaining and creating them – is what this election is fundamentally about. We know that business is the engine room of jobs creation. Treasury’s numbers show confidence is lacking, so let’s have policies that reverse that and reduce transaction costs for business. When business is confident jobs are created.

The short-term nature of the election is already starting to show. Our fear is that the focus over the first weeks of the campaign has been on September 7, the poll date, when the real work for whichever party forms government will start on the 8th of September. The period after the election day needs to be why people vote.

This is why Australia and Australian business needs clear policies and real debate from all sides of politics to allow voters to make informed decisions come election day.”

Contact: Stuart Dignam 03 9606 9798