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PIAA gives nod to budget, despite $18bn deficit

Wednesday, 09 May 2018
By Jake Nelson

Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the 2018 federal budget.

Printing Industries has announced its approval of the 2018 federal budget, praising initiatives in education and tax cuts for businesses and employees. CEO Andrew Macaulay has, however, expressed concern about the $18 billion deficit, saying the country should live within its means.

Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA.

Macaulay met with ministers following the release of the budget, and was very pleased with initiatives to benefit businesses, including an extra $250 million allocated to the Skilling Australia Fund, which is consistent with the PIAA’s aim of reforming Australia’s apprenticeship system. He also welcomed the continuation of the $20,000 instant tax write-off, and would like to see it go further. “Our members spend a considerable amount more on critical assets for their businesses, but our sector appreciates the continuation of this tax concession,” said Macaulay.

Employees will also receive an immediate tax cut of up to $530, which Macaulay believes will be excellent for workers’ morale alongside the axing of superannuation exit fees. “More money in employees’ pockets is always a good thing,” he said.

On the whole, Macaulay hailed this as a small-business-friendly budget, at least in the short term; however, he urged the Government to get the budgetback to surplus before Treasurer Scott Morrison’s four-year estimate, saying borrowing more now means paying more back later. “The Turnbull Government could learn a lot from businesses within our industry who have had to make savings and become more efficient in recent times,” said Macaulay.

In his budget speech, Morrison pitched the Government’s policies to small and medium businesses, having already legislated tax cuts for SMEs. “In this Budget the Turnbull Government is backing business to create more jobs,” he said. “Full implementation of our enterprise tax plan is needed for our businesses to remain internationally competitive, invest, create more jobs, boost wages and increase trade for smaller businesses.”

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