Government killing off local jobs

7 February 2017

UN-EFIC-AL CONDUCT

Government's Efic Bill supports 'jobs and growth' ... overseas, killing off local jobs

 In a dissenting report tabled in the Senate today, Senator Nick Xenophon criticised the Federal Government for its proposed changes to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) which seek to support Australian companies in setting up manufacturing facilities offshore, over those who choose to set up here in Australia. 

The changes are being proposed by the Government under the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Support for Commonwealth Entities) Bill 2016. 

Under the current legislation, for a company to receive financial support from Efic, it needs to demonstrate that there is some element of Australian content (labour, goods and materials) - the more content, the more finance. The proposed changes seek to remove the local content requirement and replace it with the need for only a 'benefit' flowing back to Australia. 

"This legislation could create a situation where Efic funding could be used to set up a manufacturing facility overseas that exports products back to Australia - the benefit being the exported goods to Australia. This will be at the cost of Australian jobs," said Nick.  

"When manufacturing in Australia, as a percentage of GDP, has plunged by half in the last decade, and more than 200,000 local manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2008 - this legislation is unacceptable.

"Whilst other countries are developing and implementing manufacturing growth policies, successive Australian Governments have been asleep at the wheel and this Bill wakes the driver up and specifically directs him to steer the truck off a cliff. 

"This Bill must be rejected by the Parliament. It's not in the national interest to have the Australian Government facilitate loans that set up manufacturing plants and the like, on foreign soil." 

The full Senate report is available here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/EFICBill2016/Report. 

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