ACCI supports the draft amendments proposed in the National Consumer Credit Protection
Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020. The proposed amendments will provide
greater flexibility for lenders while maintaining strong consumer protections for borrowers. The
effectiveness of the primary financial dispute resolution body, the Australian Financial Complaints
Authority (AFCA) has not, but should be, considered as part of maintaining consumer protections.
The proposed Bill will also remove regulatory duplication for ADI lenders and enhance competition.
The responsible lending obligations (RLO’s) are no longer fit for purpose and the proposed risk-based
approach should provide lenders with greater flexibility in exercising their rights to credit
provision. However, it is not determined the full extent to which these reforms will increase the
volume of lending to small business or the extent to which lending will be based on more competitive
terms. APRA guidance and clarity is needed to the benefit of lenders and borrowers.
ACCI’s submission to the 2021-22 Budget provides actions and policies for Government to consider that can be implemented in the short term to enable business to deliver the productivity gains that will help lift the economy’s growth and real wages.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission in support of the Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020, which will facilitate the JobMaker Hiring Scheme.
As a key policy of the Federal Budget, the JobMaker Hiring Credit is a welcome, practical measure to help address rising youth unemployment which has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.
ACCI encourages Parliament to pass this Bill as soon as possible to ensure businesses can be assured of the scheme promised in the Budget and to encourage an increase in the hiring of young Australians.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia is facing its biggest economic challenge in almost a century. The economy has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 health restrictions, which have driven Australia into recession for the first time in almost 30 years.
We are in the process of restarting the economy, however, we also need to set the course for its repair and recovery. To ensure Australians have the future living standards to which they aspire, the economy will need policies that create the conditions for sustainable, strong, job creating growth. Achieving this will require reforms that are comprehensive, complex and longer-term.
In the meantime, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers the policy recommendations in this submission as a starting point for initiatives that can be implemented this financial year that would enable a more productive and competitive operating environment for business as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.
JobKeeper has been instrumental in keeping businesses going and retaining the connection of employees to the employers, notwithstanding the issues of interpretation and application borne out of the speed with which it was developed and implemented. It has been the central pillar that has kept not only many eligible businesses afloat, but also has ensured there is money in the economy to help all businesses.
The Australian Chamber advocates for a competitive environment for business within an Australian economy that is fundamentally strong, growing and resilient, as well as stable and sustainable. To support economic growth, the Federal Budget should focus on improving productivity and better target government spending and policies towards initiatives that will boost economic activity such as well-considered infrastructure and workplace regulation reform.