Productivity commission to reduce regulation and improve productivity

State treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced the establishment of a productivity commission.

State treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced the establishment of a productivity commission.

The decision to appoint a Productivity Commissioner to tackle costly regulation and improve productivity in NSW will be well received by the business community, according to the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.

NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet made the announcement at a breakfast gathering of members of the NSW Business Chamber and Sydney Business Chamber on Monday, February 19. The Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business is a member of the NSW Business Chamber.

“We must unchain regional business from costly and redundant regulation which restricts job creation and economic opportunity,” NSW Business Chamber regional manager Joe Townsend said.

“The performance of the NSW economy is now envied by every other state and territory in Australia, but to stay number one we must tackle existing regulation and make sure any new regulation is as efficient as it can be.”

In making the announcement, the treasurer applauded the efforts of the NSW Business Chamber in championing a number of reforms which have already been adopted by the NSW Government. The chamber estimates businesses across NSW collectively incur $10 billion each year meeting the cost of regulation across all levels of government.

The treasurer confirmed the focus of the NSW Productivity Commission will be:

  • Making it easier to do business, including payroll tax;
  • Making housing more affordable;
  • Lowering the cost of living; and
  • Making NSW the easiest place in Australia to move to - whether you are a business or an individual.

“The creation of a body performing the functions of a NSW Productivity Commission was a key recommendation of the NSW Business Chamber to the Greiner Review,” Mr Townsend said.

“Also included in the recommendations is the chamber’s proposal for an online portal for the community to register concerns with the operation of regulation.”

NSW Business Chamber regional manager Joe Townsend.

NSW Business Chamber regional manager Joe Townsend.

Mr Townsend said a key issue for the chamber and its regional members is the burden of payroll tax system, one that requires immediate attention for NSW to remain a competitive destination, particularly for small and medium enterprises.

“Payroll tax is simply a tax on employment, and one which restricts regional businesses growth and employing more staff,” he said.

“Presently a NSW business who has a payroll of $1.1 million pays an extra $19,075 per year in payroll tax when compared to the same business just over the border in Queensland.

“It is imperative governments do all they can to assist business to grow and remove the barriers to employing more Australians, and payroll tax is one of these barriers.

Other items on the to do list for the productivity commission are examining the ‘build to rent sector’, exploring common expiry dates for multiple vehicles, reviewing government procurement practices and investigating mutual recognition of licenses and certificates.

“We need to create an environment that supports a thriving private sector for the benefit of NSW as a whole,” Mr Townsend said.