Joe Kelly reports in The Australian today ($) on a new IPA paper showing the Coalition’s push to reduce red tape has failed to improve Australia as an international investment destination:
The IPA paper urges the government to do more in tackling labour market deregulation while also warning that more stringent thresholds triggering scrutiny of foreign investment will lead overseas interests to go elsewhere.
While the government trumpets $4.8 billion in regulatory compliance cost savings in its first term, the IPA questions whether this represents an overall reduction in red tape costs once the passage of legislation over the past three years is accounted for.
When Tony Abbott became prime minister in 2013 he introduced two red tape repeal days per year after declaring that Australia was “open for business” with more than 10,000 legislative instruments being repealed since March 2014.
The IPA paper, written by senior fellow Mikayla Novak, warns that Australia’s red tape performance has worsened over the past decade and notes that excessive regulation is costing the economy $176bn a year.
“The federal government has claimed that $4.8bn in regulatory compliance cost savings were made during its first term in office, exceeding its initial target of $3bn,” Dr Novak said.
“The savings are typically based upon a limited number of specific policy measures that either eliminate redundant regulation or amend clauses in existing legislation, identified as imposing onerous compliance costs.”
“However with new legislation constantly enacted by parliament, each containing fresh regulatory edicts, it is unclear that the aggregate compliance costs of federal regulation have fallen.”
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