2014 Big Issues survey results

Results of the CEDA 2014 Big Issues survey of the business community show long-term policies around our future workforce, such as driving innovation, R&D and education and training, accompanied by taxation reform should be priorities.

On releasing the results CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said they strongly indicated the business community want long-term policy solutions rather than blunt cuts or use of fiscal policy levers.

"Survey respondents again ranked the top four policy priorities for the Federal Government as enhancing productivity, improving our competitiveness, encouraging innovation and reforming taxation," Professor Martin said.

The survey also showed rising support for increasing or broadening the GST compared to last year's survey, he said.

Other key results were:

  • With regard to which tier of government should be responsible for key services such as education and healthcare, most responded that they should stay the same with the exception of vocational education and hospitals, with the responsibility to be more evenly split between the State Government and Federal Government for each of these areas.
  • More than half of respondents think Australia suffers from entrenched disadvantage and that current government policies do not sufficiently address this issue.
  • The majority of respondents ranked early intervention, education system reform and better targeting of welfare as more important to address entrenched disadvantage compared to housing programs or restricting welfare arrangements.

Read media release - CEDA Big Issues survey indicates short-termism out – innovation, R&D, education and tax reform are priorities

Read opinion piece - Growing angst for short-term fixes by CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin

Survey results




Survey comments

The current Commonwealth government seems to have a nineteenth century attitude to economic development, rather than a vision for our future.

Key to Australia's future prosperity is maximising educational opportunities, and innovation reform to address declining productivity of capital investment.

Promote entrepreneurs and start-ups. Promote tax reform for start-ups. Find and nurture industry leaders who can lead. Promote on merit over seniority. Increase accountability in public service.

Australia is in desperate need to increase its investment in innovation, R&D, infrastructure across the board, education and training and reforming the taxation system. The Henry Tax Review needs to come off the shelf as it is still highly relevant.

Innovation comes from a workforce who have a base of professional skills and have multi-sector experience to see needs and trends across multiple sectors.

More than anything we need a vision in each of the areas mentioned, and to break the short termism of public policy. We are currently lurching from one ideological policy headline to the next without any clear direction for the long term future.

Australians need to accept that if they want more services then they will have to pay for them. Policy by opinion poll is not going to address long term issues.

There needs to be change and there needs to be willingness to change for the better not for political gain.

There is an urgent need for political reform to reduce bipartisanship, improve legislative processes, remove influence of minority parties.
Governments continue to overwhelmingly focus on short-term priorities and issues, or on ideologically driven measures that ignore evidence and logic. We have no plan to ensure our continued prosperity beyond the next few years. Our over-dependence on commodities is a major risk; if it is not addressed we are destined to become a much poorer country in the future.

A key need is for governments, which ever persuasion, to create clear medium and long term strategy and policy based on broad based consultation and stick to it. Finding ways to ensure that long term policy structures are sustained across a change of government, possibly by statute, would be a major achievement.