Coalition launches manufacturing policy

Tony Abbott, visiting a Volvo Group facility, has announced the opposition’s manufacturing policy.

The Coalition, which is ahead in most recent polls, would benefit the industry through measures such as cutting company taxes (it has previously announced a cut from 30 to 28.5 per cent in the tax rate), doing away with the carbon and mining taxes, changes to workplace laws, and cuts to regulation, Abbott said.

"I want Australia to be a country that makes things," AAP reports the opposition leader as saying.

He claimed that one in seven manufacturing jobs had been lost since the beginning of 2008.

The federal opposition leader, in Brisbane with shadow industry minister Sophie Mirabella, suggested that the government’s approach to the automotive sector had been immature.

Abbott said that the Coalition's approach would not mean that, if elected, it would, “Run down the road after Holden waving a blank cheque at them."

Mirabella said that the government had damaged the industry through surprise announcements on a carbon tax and changes to the fringe benefit tax regime.

Of the opposition's attitude, she said, "It's not just about an amount of money – it is about ensuring that the rules and benchmarks for funding the car sector are sustainable and aimed at long-term viability for the sector."

Two funding announcements were made for the industry, budgeted at $50 million each: a Manufacturing Transition Fund and a restoration of funding to Export Market Development grants.

A minister for trade and development would also be appointed, and “Strategic Growth Action Agendas”, which would “bring industry and government together to develop strategic, coordinated and long term plans for growth and viability” was announced.

Image: Canberra Times

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