THE Bligh Government today praised findings of a new study showing economic confidence in Queensland beat the national outlook.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland's (CCIQ) survey of business conditions indicates the state’s fiscal certainty jumped five percentage points in the December quarter to 50.9 per cent, ahead of the national rate of 48.6 per cent. General business conditions were 49.8 per cent, the highest level seen since March 2010.
Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser believes businesses are increasingly confident despite post-disaster and post-GFC pressures.
"Queensland has maintained the lowest payroll tax rate in the country. We also have the most competitive overall tax regime for small to medium businesses as judged by the independent firm Pitcher Partners,” he says.
"On top of this Blair Davies was brought on last year as the new business commissioner to slash red tape and be a voice for small and medium business. This move was endorsed by the CCIQ and he is already getting out across the state and meeting with small businesses."
The State Budget is expected to return to surplus one year ahead of schedule in 2014-15 mainly due to the shelved police academy at Wacol, raised requirements for the Voluntary Separation Payment program, competitive bidding for exploration permits and duty applied to exploration permit transfers.
However, Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls warns the survey also shows private sector concerns over spiralling compliance costs.
“Under this tired, 20 year old Labor Government business has been hit with constant hikes in fees and charges – and has had to wade through a mountain of red tape and a minefield of more than 90,000 pages of regulations,” he says.
“The Liberal National Party will scrap Labor’s job-destroying taxes like the new waste tax and the $7000 stamp duty slug on the family home.”