Date posted: 8/05/2018 3 min read

Exclusive budget poll reveals top priorities for Australians & calls for action on black economy

Healthcare has emerged as the nation’s top priority, according to an exclusive poll conducted on behalf of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

Healthcare has emerged as the nation’s top priority, according to an exclusive poll conducted on behalf of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

The IPSOS Poll asked more than 1,000 Australians: What should be the Federal Government’s three key priorities in the next 12 months ahead of the election in 2019?

Health ranked as the top priority with 22%, followed by Employment / Jobs with 17.7% and Housing affordability (including capital gains and negative gearing reform) at 13.5%.

Michael Croker, CA ANZ’s Australian Tax Leader, said the strong response sent a clear message to the Federal Government about what the priority areas should be in this Budget.

“What this shows is that Australians want well-funded health care, steady employment and the ability to own their own home, and the Budget needs to reflect that,” Croker said.

“With an ageing population, it’s no surprise that health is a top priority, and we advocate strongly that we need major reforms to the tax base to sustainably fund healthcare in the years ahead.

“Employment and jobs are a key priority. It’s essential that Australians have good access to quality education, with a focus on encouraging workforce participation.

“And clearly, housing affordability is a growing concern that’s extending beyond Sydney and Melbourne. It points to a need for a renewed focus on measures to help ease affordability issues.”

With the Black Economy expected to be a key focus of this year’s Budget, respondents were asked their opinion on Federal Government action.

The top priority was to Regulate the black economy better (48.9 per cent), followed by Make cash payments above a threshold illegal with 25.9 per cent), then Do nothing (25.3 per cent) and Eliminate $100 notes at (9.8 per cent).

“The results show this is clearly an important issue for Australians and we hope the Black Economy is a clear focus for the Government in this Budget,” Croker said.

“In fact, the Budget provides the perfect opportunity for the Federal Government to announce the implementation of the proposals put forward by the Black Economy Taskforce Interim Report.

“Our submission to Government made it clear we believe that these measures should include a robust real-time business identification and verification system and action against phoenix operators.

 “We urge the Government to liaise with the Council of Australian Governments to co-ordinate a response to phoenix operations.”

Ten Top Priorities for the Federal Government

  1. Health: 22.8%
  2. Employment / Jobs: 17.7%
  3. Housing affordability (including capital gains and negative gearing reform): 13.5%
  4. Getting Budget back to surplus: 9.9%
  5. Economic Growth: 7.8%
  6. Education: 5.9%
  7. Reducing Carbon Emissions: 5.5%
  8. Infrastructure: 4.9%
  9. Tax Reform: 4.8%
  10. Innovation Agenda: 1.2%

The Australian Tax Office is introducing measures to crack down on the ‘black’ or cash economy. Should the Government…

  • Regulate the black economy better: 48.9%
  • Make cash payments above a threshold illegal: 25.9%
  • Do nothing: 25.3%
  • Eliminate $100 notes: 9.8%
  • Other: 6.7%

About Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is a professional body comprised of over 117,000 diverse, talented and financially astute members who utilise their skills every day to make a difference for businesses the world over.

Members are known for their professional integrity, principled judgment, financial discipline and a forward-looking approach to business which contributes to the prosperity of our nations.

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