NAB CEO Ross McEwan commented on the economy ahead of the Federal Budget announcement on Tuesday.
“The Australian economy is doing well, with strong business conditions and low unemployment. There’s clearly some headwinds. Higher interest rates and higher cost of living are having an impact on some households and we, and I know the Government, are watching this closely,” Mr McEwan said.
“These challenges, coupled with ongoing global uncertainty and continued impacts of some of the decisions needed to get us through the pandemic, mean Treasurer Chalmers and Prime Minister Albanese face some tough choices about how they manage the budget.
“I was pleased to see the Government take action to improve paid parental leave and the affordability of childcare. Both are fundamental to ensuring equal opportunity for parents, in particular women.
“It would be terrific to see further investment in skills in the Budget. We need to address how we educate and train people so that they’re equipped for jobs of the future, particularly in data and technology, and so Australian businesses have a deeper pool of talent from which to draw.
“We need to lift productivity after a long period of growth that hasn’t been sufficient to achieve a sustained lift in real wages. Some small business owners spend 12 hours every week on government administration. We need to cut red tape so they can grow their business and invest in their people,” Mr McEwan said.
“I’m confident the Government can strike a balance between maintaining momentum in the economy while also ensuring inflation is helped back into the RBA’s target range.
“I’m also confident about the Australian economy overall and our ability to manage the challenges and opportunities ahead.”