26 September 2023

PC prosperity report right on the money

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A five-year report on Australian prosperity conducted by the Productivity Commission has concluded that Government policies should focus on emerging trends such as shifts towards service industries if they’re to increase the nation’s prosperity.

Chair of the Commission, Michael Brennan said the final report of Five-year Productivity Inquiry: Advancing Prosperity outlined how Australia could continue to grow its productivity and increase individual prosperity in the face of a changed economy.

Mr Brennan said that almost 90 per cent of Australians now worked in service industries, including education, health, hospitality, retail and finance – sectors in which it had traditionally been difficult to lift productivity.

“Australia’s economy has changed,” Mr Brennan said.

“But we are not alone,” he said.

“Economies around the world are grappling with the same issues.

“There is no easy answer, but we need to address this challenge to secure Australia’s future prosperity.”

Mr Brennan said the new report showed how productivity policy was central to a modern economy.

He said that through significant consultation and investigation, the Productivity Commission had made a series of recommendations it believed would stack the odds of productivity growth in Australia’s favour.

“Concentrating on five key themes can make a real difference,” the Commission Chair said.

“These are: Building an adaptable workforce; Harnessing data, digital technology and diffusion; Creating a more dynamic and competitive economy; Efficiently delivering Government services; and Securing net zero emissions at least cost,” he said.

“To drive productivity growth, a services economy requires a highly skilled and adaptable workforce.”

Mr Brennan said that required better teaching and innovation in schools, vocational education and training, and universities; encouraging more tertiary education and lifelong learning to help workers obtain the skills they need for a modern economy; and more effective use of skilled migration.

He said innovation could help Governments and businesses deliver better services or operate more efficiently, and help drive the transition to net zero

“The reform recommendations put forward by the Commission today will help Australia overcome its productivity predicament,” Mr Brennan said.

The Productivity Commission’s nine-volume report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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