Aussie treasurer calls on businesses to campaign on government’s behalf

CANBERRA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Australia’s treasurer has called on the nation’s companies to advocate for the government’s economic agenda ahead of a general election in 2019.

Josh Frydenberg, who took office in August, said the governing Liberal-National Party Coalition (LNP) was the only one of Australia’s two major parties with business-friendly policies.

“It is business that must advocate the importance of a low-taxing, fiscally responsible government which creates the environment in which the economy will thrive,” he told News Corp Australia on Monday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who served as treasurer before Frydenberg, in October announced he would fast-track previously- legislated tax cuts for small and medium-sized businesses.

Under the plan, the tax rate for companies with an annual turnover of less than 50 million Australian dollars (36 million U.S. dollars) would be cut from 27.5 percent to 25 percent by 2021-22, five years earlier than the 2026-27 initially planned at a cost of 3.2 billion Australian dollars (2.3 billion U.S. dollars).

The government repeatedly tried to cut the tax rate for large businesses but abandoned the initiative after the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) joined forces with minor parties to defeat it.

Frydenberg’s comments came after LNP Member of Parliament (MP) Jason Falinski said that businesses needed to show leadership.

The Australian Industry (AI) Group, one of the nation’s largest employers’ organizations, hit back by criticizing the government’s lack of ambition on industrial relations reform.

“There has been deep frustration at the lack of emphasis and activity by the government on workplace relations,” AI Group chief executive Innex Willox said.

Polls have revealed that the ALP is headed towards a landslide election victory in 2019 with voters abandoning the LNP after the August leadership crisis that saw Morrison rise from treasurer to prime minister. Enditem

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