Australian Chamber of Commerce supports Hockey budget

BIG business has hit back at Treasurer Joe Hockey, after he complained it had not done enough to help him get support for his controversial first budget.

The Financial Review today published his comments, in a wide-ranging attack on the lack of bipartisan support, weak advocacy by business and the media for targeting him personally.

Mr Hockey has struggled to convince Labor, The Greens and the all-important Senate crossbenchers of the merits of many of his budget measures, which could face defeat when sittings resume later this month.

But the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's chief executive Kate Carnell said she supported the budget, which laid out a 10-year pass to surplus and cuts over the next four years worth about $44 billion.

She said businesses were "particularly concerned" the Labor Party was not willing to support cost savings it proposed when in government, which the Coalition was trying to get through parliament.

Ms Carnell said the chamber believed the budget was the sensible path to take and "that the Senate needs to respect the mandate of the government" and work constructively to pass the budget.

"If borrowing costs rise, for governments this means less money to help the most needy; for households this means less discretionary income to spend on goods and services; and for businesses this means a reduced capacity to employ and invest," she said.

"There needs to be a considered debate about the medium and long-term structural budget position. This debate needs to start now."


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