Business divided over budget benefits

By Adam Coleman

The 2009-10 Queensland State Budget has received mixed reactions from the state’s business community.

The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) was critical of the budget suggesting businesses will ‘bear much pain’ and calling for further action to find savings within Government.

A CCIQ spokesperson said the budget “unfortunately does not make the difficult decisions necessary to restore confidence in the business community.”

Of concern to the CCIQ is that State Government expenditure will increase by 7.4 per cent in 2009-10 and State Government wages, salaries and superannuation will increase by 9.1 per cent.

The CCIQ challenged the State Government to identify any private sector company that will have its wages bill increase by this mount and said more could be done to introduce efficiencies within Government.

“The loss of the State Fuel Subsidy will be a huge blow to the state’s business community at a time when they can least afford it.

“Businesses may rightly feel that as a consequence of this Budget that they are on their own for at least the next 12 months, however, CCIQ will continue to make representations to the State Government for meaningful actions that lower the cost of doing business.”

Master Builders Queensland had nothing but praise for the budget suggesting it will provide much needed employment and growth for the building and construction industry.

Master Builders director of housing, Darren Barlow lauded the announced $18.2 billion building program, saying it will provide employment and stability for Queensland’s building and construction industry in a time when it is needed most.

“This record building investment program will not only mean supporting the jobs of existing workers in the industry, the government also anticipates it will create a significant number of new apprenticeships and traineeships,” he said.

Barlow said the budget’s commitment to first home buyers was good news for the building industry, with the threshold for stamp duty on vacant land to be almost doubled.

“First home buyers will save up to $5,675 on the purchase of vacant land, with transfer duty abolished for blocks worth up to $250,000–a significant saving when purchasing your first home.

“With home loan figures telling us that first home buyers are currently driving stability in residential property, Master Builders strongly supports initiatives that will continue to encourage first home buyers into the market.”

Related Story: Queensland budget draws ire of councils

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