BUSINESSES want the government to spend more on infrastructure while they pay less tax.
But they still want the federal books to be balanced within five years.
That’s what they’ve told the Australian Industry Group in its annual pre-budget survey of 364 businesses.
Seven in 10 respondents nominated cutting the company tax rate as one of the top three things they’d like to see in the federal budget.
About the same number wanted more spent on transport links and other infrastructure.
This was seen as particularly important in NSW.
Cutting the company tax rate and spending more on infrastructure would ultimately lead the tax base to grow faster in the medium term, the Ai Group says in the survey report, released on Monday.
These priorities were also top of mind for business in 2013.
However the percentage of businesses nominating these as their number one priority was lower than in the previous survey.
This year, about a quarter of the businesses said getting the budget back to a balanced position in the next five years was the most important job for the government.
That’s significantly more than a year ago.
“Perhaps the biggest challenge for the government is that the budget cannot be one-dimensional,” Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said.
The need for far-sighted action to restore strength had to be balanced with fostering growth.