8 July 2013

Liberals re-hash old announcement on red tape


Joint Media Release with
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Tony Abbott is re-announcing ideas from two years ago, in an attempt to distract Australians from his lack of policies.

In fact, today's deregulation "announcement" was nothing more than a re-hash of his announcement in May 2011.

"A Coalition government would reduce the regulatory costs to business by at least $1 billion a year. We'd require departments to calculate the costs to business of preparing and making available information, changing their processes and obtaining approvals. Departments and ministers would be accountable for meeting annual red tape reduction targets that the Productivity Commission would verify."

12 May 2011 (Tony Abbott – Budget Reply Speech)

Every few months, Tony Abbott "announces" a plan to cut red tape, but it's always the same thing; a random figure, a slogan, some rhetoric and no real detail.

"The Coalition is committed to reducing compliance costs wherever possible and I am committing the Coalition to setting a target of reducing existing compliance costs across the economy by $1 billion each year at least for the first term of a Coalition government."

1 December 2011 (Tony Abbott Press Release)

"We'll cut business red tape costs by at least a billion dollars a year by requiring each government agency to quantify the costs of its reporting and compliance rules and delivering an annual savings target."

10 May 2012 (Tony Abbott Budget Reply Speech)

"We will cut red tape costs by at least $1 billion a year – to give small business a much-needed break – and we'll have parliamentary days dedicated to repealing laws, not passing them."

16 May 2013 (Tony Abbott Budget Reply Speech)

Today's pamphlet also includes a number of things which the Government has already established or committed to, such as the centralised register of Commonwealth contract and grant recipients and common form grant contracts.

The Government also recently announced a strengthened Regulatory Impact Statement process which was welcomed by business and we have passed legislation to enable the removal of 12,000 regulations.

Labor is delivering real reforms to cut red tape. We are not simply moving deregulation policy into a different department or establishing Advisory Councils within portfolios.

Since coming to Government, Labor has implemented significant national deregulation reforms which reduce red tape and increase productivity and efficiency for businesses across the country.

Reforms include standard business reporting, a national consumer law, a national business names registrations system and the establishment of new national transport regulators.

The Productivity Commission reported that just 17 of Labor's 27 national deregulation reforms are estimated to lower business costs by $4 billion each year when fully implemented, and improvements to productivity could increase GDP by about 0.4 per cent or $6 billion.

Deregulation reform requires ongoing extensive work with business and with the States and Territories.

It's not as simple as Tony Abbott picking a random number and saying he'll "scrap the carbon tax".

The Liberals think they can get away with repeating slogans, but Australians and Australian businesses deserve better.