The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the Federal Budget is big on nation building but small on business building with little focus on job retention or job creation outside of infrastructure jobs.
ARA executive director Richard Evans said while nation building is good for Australia and construction jobs, it’s not focused on the challenge of saving jobs within the supply channel for the here and now.
“Employment stability is the key to domestic economic recovery and the Rudd Government’s second budget does little to sure up job confidence for the average worker and nothing to provide incentive for small business to maintain current workforce levels,” said Evans.
"Retail budgeting 101 states that if recurrent revenues decline then recurrent spending should also be reduced. We see little evidence of this in the Federal Budget with the government failing to make the hard decisions to reign in their spending.
“What we are seeing here is a government spending more than is being earned. If a retailer were to budget with the optimistic forecasting techniques and declining revenues being used by the government, it would be rejected by their bankers under the current protocols set by them,” he said.
“This Federal Budget seems more about politics than the need to generate demand and maintain jobs. There is a lot of guesswork and a lot of long-term forecasting and projects – but little for job stability now.
Evans does applaud the boost from 30 to 50 per cent of the small business tax break and the extension to the end of December 2009. This extra incentive for smaller business (turnover of less than $2 million) to purchase eligible assets will stimulate business investment spend if demand, and thus cash to actually pay for the investment, returns.
“In terms of the increase to the pension – the ARA supports the move but sees it as too selective. Young people in this budget have been left behind. And without direct stimulus and support to the retail sector – a large employer of young people – the ARA sees youth unemployment under direct pressure,” said Evans.