NSW establishing Productivity Commission to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses

Red Tape

A Productivity Commission will be established in NSW to spearhead a micro-economic reform agenda that includes a focus on reducing red tape for businesses, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced.

The first-ever NSW Productivity Commission, which will be led by a yet-to-be-appointed Productivity Commissioner, was announced at the NSW Business Chamber by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who said its purpose will be to “expand the state’s economic prosperity”.

Noting the Chamber’s estimation that businesses spend over $10 billion each year complying with regulations across all levels of government, the Treasurer said the new Commission will have a core focus on “making it easier to do business” in NSW. Relevantly, he indicated that one of the Commission’s first tasks will be a review of payroll tax administration due to the fact that – by the Chamber’s estimates – payroll tax “can cost an individual business up to $10,000 every year”.

In his speech announcing the Commission, the Treasurer highlighted the Commonwealth Productivity Commission’s finding that reducing regulatory compliance costs by about 20 per cent could boost NSW’s gross state product by $6 billion in the long run.

Bad, costly, unnecessary regulation is the enemy of enterprise,” he said.  “Arbitrary rules can slow simple processes to a painful grind. Old regulations that were once useful can become irrelevant or counter-productive. All this stifles innovation, strangles opportunity and sucks the creative, productive life out of the economy.

“To be clear – regulation will always be a necessary part of living in a productive, prosperous society. But it should be necessary, simple, effective, relevant and targeted.”

The Treasurer said the Commission will be set up with guidance from Professor Gary Banks, former head of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission. He added that once a Commissioner is announced, an online portal will be launched to enable citizens and businesses to communicate “the most important regulatory roadblocks and provide fresh ideas to reduce the burden.”