7 February 2022

Productivity Commission review of Australia's productivity performance

The Morrison Government has tasked the Productivity Commission with undertaking its second five‑yearly review of Australia’s productivity performance.

Australia’s economy has performed strongly in recent decades enjoying 28 years of consecutive economic growth, only interrupted by the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic has been world leading, outperforming all major advanced economies throughout the pandemic and avoiding the scarring of the labour market reminiscent of previous downturns.

To ensure Australians continue to enjoy higher living standards, we need to continue to focus on the task of lifting productivity. Previous reforms brought Australia’s productivity closer to the global frontier, but there is more to do.

Lifting our productivity will require policy settings that foster a flexible and dynamic economy, that is able to adapt in the face of economic challenges and opportunities.

That is why the Government has been working hard to lock in a wide range of productivity‑enhancing reforms, including:

  • legislating the abolition of an entire tax bracket creating a fairer and stronger tax system as part of a plan to deliver more than $300 billion in personal income tax relief.
  • making the biggest changes to our insolvency system in 30 years
  • working with the states to cut red tape and create a uniform scheme for automatic mutual recognition of occupational licences, will directly benefit over 168,000 people each year.
  • a new ‘patent box’ to encourage the commercialisation of innovation in Australia and complement the $2 billion R&D Tax Incentive.
  • investing $2.2 billion in a University Research Commercialisation Action Plan places to drive our universities and businesses to work hand‑in‑glove in support of high potential projects.
  • enabling the shift to digital through our Digital Economy Strategy
  • undertaking record investments in infrastructure through a rolling ten‑year $100 billion pipeline.

To identify the next round of productivity‑enhancing reforms, I have asked the Productivity Commission to begin its second five‑yearly productivity review, the follow‑up to its Shifting the Dial report from 2017.

The review will analyse Australia’s productivity performance and identify priority areas for reform, including data and digital innovation and workforce skills. It will also consider how the COVID‑19 pandemic and our response have shaped Australia’s productivity challenges and opportunities.

The review will help identify opportunities to position Australia for the future, create jobs and lift wages over the long run.

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to report back within one year. For further information, including terms of reference, please visit the Productivity Commission's website.