Economy, not poverty, should be election focus says Chamber
THE economy must remain the "centre of gravity" during the election campaign, according to priorities for the next government announced by a business group on Wednesday.
Despite calls from community service groups that poverty and other social issues be brought to the fore, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was determined to keep its issues on top.
The key, chamber chief executive Peter Anderson said, was an agenda that building business confidence must be the "central operating principle of the next government".
"Both major parties have written big cheques for extra social policy out to the end of the decade, but since the money's not in the bank we need to create new wealth to pay our way and secure living standards," he said.
His comments came despite recent calls that slashing single mother support payments and other social measures would not actually help struggling parents into the workforce.
Mr Anderson said five key policies to help business would, in turn, help employ more people, primarily by improving productivity and improving the economy.
"We want the community and stakeholders to get behind our goals and submit ideas on what else can be done to make them happen," he said.
Among the key priorities for business were a root and branch review of government spending, more competition, privatisation of government assets, less welfare reliance and changes to the Fair Work Act.