The promise

There’s been a few promises, but the real policy substance of the upcoming federal election is yet to be seen.

This year will lie in my memory as a year of election campaigning. It seems the entire country has been focused on Kevin Rudd vs John Howard since Shane Warne faced his last ball in the Test Cricket! In reality, there has been surprisingly few promises (other than on IR) of any great substance. The Fairness Test has had a great impact on agreement making, but very little else has had any actual or potential impact for restaurants.

Reversing all of the IR reforms, if the ALP wins government, would of course have a huge negative impact, albeit it is unlikely this magnitude of reform would pass the Senate—the potential impact on inflation, interest rates, wage rates and union control is too great.

The prospect of tax reform has been raised in recent weeks. This may have the potential to have a positive impact. Changes to tax rates (and increasing take home pay) have a huge impact on restaurant spending (and slows down wages growth). Perhaps this might also canvass changes to FBT, which would also send a very positive wave through our businesses.

The Association has also been advocating the commitment of funds to promote an International Food and Wine Festival in Australia, the promotion of best practice food safety practices, the allocation of vouchers for employers to obtain industry advice and 120 per cent tax deductibility for training expenditures. There is still a period of intense campaigning to go, so lets hope there is some real positives for restaurant and catering businesses.

Con Castrisos
President, Restaurant & Catering  Australia

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