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Small Businesses and Federal Cabinet Meetings

The federal cabinet meetings is one of the functions of the government of Australia that is responsible for discussing current issues that affect the running of the country. One of the issues that are also discussed is the economy of the country and the way local and international businesses contribute to the Australian economy.

The people who sit at these cabinet meetings may not be in position to handle all issues affecting the business hence will not solve them effectively. The problems that affect the business community according to the Business Community of Australia include; taxes, energy prices, corruption, infrastructure among others. This therefore calls for greater representation at this level especially for business executives and trade organizations. (Fulton, 2000)

Australia is one the countries of the world with a developed economy which supports a large portion of its population through formal employment in the industries such as the manufacturing, service, agriculture, mining, transport and energy depending on the region where primary resources are found. To run all these sectors require a very strong cabinet Regional Australia has experienced some of the most significant changes when it comes to its unemployment  and employment rates over the last ten years. This has been

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attributed to the fast growing economy and the changing value of the Dollar. (Cohen, 2003)

Trading in Australia is considered one of the best developed in the world and it contributes to the high GDP growth rate it enjoys. The employment rate in most industries is varied depending on the amount of growth potential it can offer to the population. Australian economic growth is on the positive side this year compared to what was achieved 2006. The main drivers of this economy are the fact that external and internal business opportunities had grown extensively.

This growth had improved despite being affected by a severe drought, and it is expected to continue with an estimated growth rate GDP of 3.75 % in the 2007/08 going up from 2.5% in the 2006/07. Economic growth rate in the year 2007/08 is expected to increase because of a recovery from drought, increased exports and an increment in business investments. The Australian economy is responding well to global economy and changes in the way governance is being conduced at the cabinet. Since the introduction of the new tax system in 1999 by John Howard which has become extremely costly to businesses.

The Australian government has imposed more than 56 different taxes on businesses within the states. The worst and costly of them is the 23 federal taxes imposed by the federal government. The state and other territories have also imposed their own 33 different taxes while the local governments have been able to add in their own 2 different local taxes. Compared to the UK where the same study has showed that a business is only subjected to 22 different types of taxes and the economy of this country is almost three times the economy of Australia. (Alina, 1997)

This is a disaster for any business and therefore there is need for increased representation of the business community at the Federal Cabinet Meetings.  In general, wage pressures are estimated to remain under control and inflation is estimated to remain moderate. Low inflation implies that, automotive fuel prices have stabilized; in addition high prices of fruit experienced in 2006 have gone down, lowering inflation rates. It is estimated that inflation will go down from 2.75% in 2006/07 to around 2.5 in 2007/08. (Hoge, 2002)

The Australian Federal Government is currently expected to sway in strength; this is because exports of rural commodities are estimated to decrease in 2007/08. In addition, exports of well finished manufactured goods and service are anticipated to reduce the high exchange rate being witnessed and enhance international competition but are subject to intervention by the federal government.

A strong exchange rate will enhance high exports while lower exchange rate will discourage it. Thus, this will affect the amount of exports to countries such as china. Australia is has witnessed low exports for the last 30 years because of bad policies drafted and implemented by the federal government.  (Alina, 1997)

The federal government of Australia is based on the liberal democratic tradition that encourages freedom of speech, association and transparent governance. Over the past two or three decades however, the country has experienced high level of criticism because of the way it has been handling the development of trade in the country and general investments.

The federal government have been sluggish in promoting business friendly policies that can promote the development of the country in terms of business growth. (Australian Business Council, 1999)Since the take over by the current government, the country has experienced high taxing, trade limitations, business and company relocations to other countries because of the fact that the business environment is not conducive especially for international investments.

The only way that can turn things around for the country in terms of business strategy and development is to increase input of the business community bat the federal government meetings. By this, the main players and stakeholders will be able put across professional opinion to the government, for consideration. This can be in terms of reducing the taxes and levies imposed on businesses or widening the financial sector to allow for greater access to credit and loans to boost businesses. (Australian Business Council, 1999)

Most scholars and political analysts acknowledge that Australia’s Federal Government is currently broken and it needs to be fixed. What worries people most is the cost of bad politics and federal systems on businesses and standards of living. In fact, the price tag that has been put by economists is now estimated to be more than $9 billion which translates to $1100 per family in Australia.

Every year there is wasted taxes by the federal system of government through overtaxing of businesses by the same government. The Business Council of Australia claims that the business community in Australia has paying for duplicate services that are in most cases inefficient. This bedevils the kind of affiliation between state and federal governments in Australia.

The cabinet that runs all the operations of the country has been accused of not putting the necessary policies in place to create a business friendly environment that not only encourages local investments but also foreign ones.   The Business Council of Australia therefore believes that it should be allowed to have greater input into Federal Government Meetings. This input will be in terms of ideas and policy documentation especially those regarding to taxes, business investment opportunity, custom duties and import and export regulations. (Foster, & Harris, 2005)

Previous studies have suggested that Australians need to work hard to change how things are run at the federal level of cabinet. The first thing to do is to champion for more say at the cabinet meetings although this idea seems to be impossible because of the poor record of Australians achieving change in governance. However, international experience has shown better indications on how Australians can actually take their country forth, what they leadership and vision to do so.

What has been widely accepted is the fact that more and more countries are beginning to feel the pinch of having a weak cabinet in terms of politically-minded individuals and not development oriented individuals. Australia is believed to be strategically placed in the world to meet the needs of expanding markets in the Middle East and Asia. International markets have become a source of economic growth for many countries including China, India and Brazil. It is tantamount for Australia to involve all stakeholders in the business portfolio in decision making. (Richard, 2001

Conclusion

Every market and business community for each country has its own fundamental ways of looking at its trading capabilities with Australia. Therefore, it is important for this country to look at the way its local politics and federal policies are affecting businesses within and outside the country. One thing that must be upheld by the government and business individuals in this country is the fact that politics is politics and business is business.

We are in business and the business community should be allowed to argue their opinions in the federal cabinet meetings. The Australian therefore needs to involve business representatives in its cabinet meetings so that the sector becomes more active in the politics of the country. The governance issues that affect the country need to be examined in a greater point of view with reference to incorporating strategic policy management in all governance of the country

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