Big Issues 2016

Preparing for future jobs, the Federal Budget deficit, tax avoidance and the GST have been highlighted in CEDA's 2016 Big Issues survey as the top issues affecting the Australian economy.

Preparing for the jobs of the future, while tackling multinational tax avoidance and the Federal Budget deficit remain key issues, according to the results of CEDA’s 2016 Big Issues survey.

Other key results were that there is still strong support for raising or broadening the base of the GST and climate change continues to be a polarising topic for respondents.

CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said this year’s results showed a greater interest in education, skills and competitiveness that likely stems from an increasing focus on how Australia prepares for the jobs of the future and the fourth industrial revolution currently underway.

“Disruption and changing workplace skills and jobs has been a key topic of discussion among CEDA members this year and this has also come through in the survey results.”

On issues to be addressed by the Federal Government, Professor Martin said 68 per cent of respondents ranked returning the Federal Budget to balance by the end of the decade as very important or somewhat important.

“Carrying a significant deficit despite decades of economic growth is ridiculous, particularly given the increasing global economic uncertainty. If there is a major economic shock, Australia will be more exposed,” he said.

“Priorities for dealing with the Federal Budget deficit were addressing multinational tax avoidance, with an overwhelming 86 per cent selecting this option, with raising the GST coming in second. Other top suggestions by survey respondents were phasing out negative gearing and improving public sector efficiency.

“The top response for the aim of reforming the tax system was also addressing tax evasion.

“Broadening the GST was the top ranked response to what should be the priorities for tax reform followed by reducing middle class and business welfare tax breaks. The lowest ranked option was lowering the company tax rate.

“Broadening or raising the GST was also a topic that was prevalent in the additional comments provided by survey respondents this year, showing that while the Federal Government has been reluctant to look at this area it is still top of mind for the business community.”

Other key results from the survey included:

  • The policy priorities for government in the service sector should be to continue to invest in education to support service sector workforce capability and incentives to small-to-medium enterprises to innovate and undertake
  • More than 50 per cent of respondents said assistance to people with disabilities (including the NDIS) and assistance to the aged (such as the Age Pension) should be off limits when cutting welfare.

Read media release: CEDA Big Issues survey: future jobs, Budget deficit, tax avoidance and the GST top issues.

Survey results:


Survey comments:

Click to read general comments from respondents to CEDA's Big Issues survey 2016.

Click to read budget repair comments from respondents to CEDA's Big Issues survey 2016.

For further reading, click to see CEDA's Deficit to balance: budget repair options research report.

View past survey results:

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008