Australia continues its slide down the global competitiveness rankings on key areas such as taxes, regulations, and energy supply, according to the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index Report released on the 26th of September.

“The WEF shows that Australia remains one of the most hostile nations to new business investment and job creation”, said Daniel Wild, research fellow with the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

“Restrictive labour market regulations, high tax rates, and inefficient government bureaucracy remain the three most problematic factors for doing business in Australia.”

“This report shows Australia’s industrial relations system is broken. Australia ranks an astonishing 110th for workplace efficiency, and 109th for labour market flexibility out of 137 nations. This is worse than countries such as Botswana and Ghana. It is little wonder why 730,000 Australians are unemployed and one in five prime-age males are not in work.”

“This report confirms that short-sighted government subsidisation of renewable energy is becoming a substantial drag on business investment and job creation. In just one year the quality of Australia’s energy supply plummeted from 22nd to 44th. The Commonwealth and state governments must abolish their Renewable Energy Targets to improve the reliability and affordability of energy supply in Australia”, said Mr. Wild.

“To improve Australia’s competitiveness, governments must engage in serious economic reform such as reducing and flattening tax rates, deregulating the labour market, and cutting red tape.”

“Australia has dropped from 10th to 21st on the Global Competitiveness Index in just one decade. This puts Australia behind key competitor nations such as the US, the UK, and Singapore.”

“Red tape reduces economic output by $176 billion, making the average Australian household $19,300 poorer each year. Engaging in deep and sustained cuts to red tape should be the first step to improving Australia’s competitiveness.”

“Businesses are now clearly factoring in Australia’s looming fiscal insolvency into their investment decisions. They simply have no faith that governments will cut spending and have accepted that the forecast $725 billion in debt will be paid back with higher taxes.”

“Businesses are saying: why would I invest in Australia where success is penalised through punitive taxation and job creation discouraged with antiquated labour market laws?” said Mr Wild.

The World Economic Forum report provides an index ranking of competitiveness based on surveys of businesses in 137 nations. The 2017-18 report can be found here

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