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Government fails to commit to real reform for future Australians

Federal Budget 2013

The most disconcerting aspect of the Federal Budget 2013/14 is that the Government failed to grasp the opportunity to show a genuine commitment to real economic reform needed to underpin long-term economic prosperity, according to Steven Shepherd, Senior Economic Adviser at Grant Thornton.

"This has failed the future generations of Australians who will depend upon the future structure of Australia’s superannuation, industry structure and taxation systems."

"They have wasted their opportunity to address the rebalancing of critical Australian institutions. The most notable of these concern genuine and sustainable reform of Australia’s superannuation system, the development of an effective industry policy strategy and any real meaningful reform of Australia’s taxation system." Mr Shepherd said.

"It’s not surprising that the Gillard Government has chosen to go down this path when the Government’s election prospects are so intertwined with the immediate political ramifications of this year’s Budget."

"It is hard to take the budget forward estimate projections too seriously, given the magnitude to which they missed the actual outcomes over the past year. The overall Budget position as measured by the underlying cash balance resulted in -$19.4B. Compare this to a year ago when the forecast was for a surplus of $1.5B."

"In terms of the Government’s second attempt to embark on an effective fiscal austerity program (cutting debt!), is still short of the mark. For Australia’s economy, which has not entered into a GFC induced recession, to not be able to get the budget into a balanced position by 2014/15, indicates their lack of sincerity."

"If Australian’s are content with a tinkering Government that is only increasing complexity and compliance, then they will miss the opportunity for real growth, a more competitive industrial landscape and the development of an innovative culture."

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Helina Lilley
National Public Relations Manager
+61 2 8297 2421
0437 725 520

About Grant Thornton Australia
Limited Grant Thornton Australia provides audit, tax and advisory services to dynamic, growing organisations and is a single national firm, with over 150 Partners, more than 1,200 people across Australia and national turnover of AUD $232 million. Grant Thornton International is the fastest growing international accounting network in the world, with a global turnover of US$3.7billion and more than 30,000 people, and was recently named 2013 Network of the Year by the International Accounting Bulletin.