The government has announced a further investment of $134.6 million in deregulation measures and reduction of red tape across a variety of policy areas as part of the 2021 federal budget handed down on Tuesday.
The budget initiative seeks to ‘reduce unnecessary regulatory burden’ on Australian businesses by helping them better comply with modern awards, reducing their costs, and improving compliance.
The deregulation measures are expected to deliver an average reduction of $430 million per year in compliance costs, including reporting requirements for greenhouse gas, pharmaceutical, occupational licensing, childcare and international education.
The government will also help Australian businesses to attract and retain staff by removing cessation of employment as a taxing point where Employee Share Schemes (ESS) are concerned.
“Employers use ESS to attract, retain, and motivate staff by issuing interests such as shares, rights (including options) or other financial products to their employees, usually at a discount,” the Budget papers explain.
“This measure will help Australian companies to engage and retain the talent they need to compete on a global stage, which is consistent with recommendations from the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce,” it said.
Managing Director of Xero Australia and Asia Trent Innes said the government’s commitment to reducing red tape and recognition of regulation technology was pleasing.
“The Government’s explicit acknowledgement of the benefits of digitising processes and optimising regulation send a strong signal to the business community,” Mr Innes said.
“For the business community, the deregulation commitment is one of the most important inclusions in the 2021 Budget.”
In a speech to the Business Council of Australia on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Coalition sought to alleviate the “depressing level of regulation that prevents [businesses] employing more Australians.”