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Budget 2018 - ‘as expected’ says business

The Coalition Government’s first Budget is ‘as expected’, with no major surprises but room for improvement.

"While this Budget was very much a ‘campaign and coalition-compromises’ Budget, there are some initiatives that business will welcome" says John Milford, Chief Executive of Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"What business really needs is a continuation of the strong economic settings enjoyed to date. Business will be pleased to see that economic growth is expected to average about 3 per cent per year over the next five years and the Budget itself is balanced.

"We welcome the additional expenditure for research and development - the key will be to ensure that the mechanisms are fit for purpose and robust. There’s no question that New Zealand has got to improve its share of R&D - currently it’s 1.28 per cent of GDP, compared to an OECD average of 2.38 per cent. But of course it’s always a question of what we do and how we do it.

"Business also supports the crackdown on employers who are acting in an illegal and exploitative manner with migrant and Kiwi workers. Likewise, we support the additional expenditure for Inland Revenue to ensure enforcement so companies comply with tax return requirements.

"Business will be looking to next year’s Budget, where we will expect to see a bit more of a focus for business, looking to address many of the mounting cost challenges they are facing. Our members continue to be concerned about government-imposed increases in the cost of doing business without any converse reduction - such as increases to the minimum wage, changes to employment law, transitioning to carbon zero, and additional compliance costs.

"We would also hope there will be investment to deliver the urgently needed Let’s Get Welly Moving projects to improve the under-investment to date of Wellington’s major infrastructure.

"We await further policy details on the previously announced review to better support SME’s by introducing e-invoicing to ensure that businesses are paid on time, better cashflow, and to address other barriers to business."

ENDS


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