21 August, 2017
Courtesy of the Courier Mail
The “comical” nature of federal politics, a looming state election and skyrocketing power bills are knocking business confidence in Queensland for six.
According to the latest Suncorp/Resilium-CCIQ Pulse Survey, confidence levels are falling, particularly in the southeast.
And while the citizenship posturing of our pollies is dampening the mood, the single biggest issue continues to be the cost of power.
CCIQ’s Kate Whittle said the survey showed almost 80 per cent of businesses reported increased costs in the past quarter and cited rising costs for electricity and utilities as the biggest operating issues they faced.
“Electricity is the key business issue facing small businesses across the state and there is an ever-increasing frustration on behalf of businesses about the year on year price hikes,” she said.
“If we throw into that mix the comical nature of politics in Canberra and the likelihood of a Queensland election in November, business confidence may be variable for the next 3-6 months.
“Businesses are fed up with talkfests and platitudes and want to see action that ensures that our manufacturers don’t get forced offshore, our farmers don’t see prices double every two years, and jobs and economic growth is not stymied.”
The Canberra comedy Ms Whittle refers to reached fever pitch this week when the number of MPs embroiled in citizenship scandals reached seven and left the Federal Government’s one-seat majority hanging in the balance.
The latest MP dragged into the fray, Senator Nick Xenophon, described the situation as a “festering farce” and accused his opponents of trying to “knock him off”.
The Pulse survey has an indicator which measures the mood of small business. When the indicator is at 50 the mood is considered neutral. In the most recent survey it fell to 47.1. The forward indicators show Queensland business expected an even weaker September quarter.