Property key to future economic growth
The Government promised less thrills and spills with this year's federal budget – and so it was.
The big focus was on small business growth, child care and pension reform, and a raft of tax integrity measures.
Poring over the budget papers in the lock-up last night revealed no nasty surprises, although the foreign investment fees announced last month are set to raise eleven times the amount needed to fund the Government's compliance package. And having spent up big on infrastructure last year there are only a few new measures this time around.
The really big story from the budget is one of economic growth. All the indicators are pointing in the right direction. However turning these forecasts into reality will take a serious and continued reform effort from Canberra.
Mining as a source of economic growth is predicted to fall off a cliff over the next three years – property is one of the few industries standing ready to jump in and keep the economy growing.
But to do this we need reform. Big, meaningful reform that banishes our most punitive taxes that are a barrier to activity, investment in the city-shaping infrastructure we need, and leadership to drive productivity-boosting planning reform across all levels of government.
Tellingly, the one major issue not canvassed in the reams of budget papers was housing affordability. Yet this issue is at the top of the agenda for most Australian households.
The budget is over, but the reform task remains.