New businesses starting up in Tasmania should be given preferential treatment by the State Government ahead of existing businesses, leading economist Saul Eslake believes.
That is the key message in the 2018 Tasmanian Report, produced by Mr Eslake and set to be released at TCCI functions in Hobart, Launceston and Ulverstone this month.
Mr Eslake said the state needed more new businesses that provided higher remuneration and has recommended a fresh business approach to boost the Tasmanian economy.
Employment figures highlight the need to turn part-time employment into high-paid full-time positions, he said.
Tasmanians are the lowest paid in the nation because of the smaller numbers of high-paid professional workers.
“We need to continue creating opportunities for all school students to finish Year 11 and 12 and it’s encouraging to see the Government creating the opportunities to complete 11 and 12 in the schools where they started their education,” Mr Eslake said.
“But now we need to broaden our base economy by supporting new business and new jobs for a better educated employee who will attract a bigger pay cheque.
“I’m not attacking small businesses but it isn’t the lifeline of business in Tasmania and I believe that government should be financially supporting new business, not the old.
“I know it’s politically challenging but I argue that there are too few businesses paying payroll tax.
“Spread the tax, lower the cost and create a bigger pool of money to support new businesses and new well-paid jobs.
Mr Eslake said the state had gone forward in the last year and over the last decade.
“The economy is doing well but we still have a long way to go,” Mr Eslake said.
“The state has done quite well with increased federal grants and GST receipts and the State Government has managed its finances extremely well which has boosted high levels in business confidence.”
“The challenge for the future is where will the increased investment come from to continue the high costs of health, education, housing and infrastructure in the future?”
With health the state’s biggest cost, Mr Eslake will also dissect new data about the health status of Tasmanian aged between 25 and 34 and make suggestions about how we can keep them out hospitals that are already stretched to capacity.
The data is expected to reveal that they don’t or can’t look after their health.
More than half in the age group are overweight or obese which leads to chronic conditions such as diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and cardiovascular disease.
The costs of hospitals and specialists will run into tens of thousands of dollars per individual.