Anthony Albanese to drop new budget hint at COSBOA summit

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Anthony Albanese will drop a new budget hint on Thursday, when he delivers a fresh call to the country’s small businesses to build more for Australia.

The Prime Minister will tell the Council of Small Business of Australia’s national summit that helping families and small businesses with their energy bills was a key priority of last year’s budget, and would again be “front and centre in our thinking” as the government puts together the May budget.

Mr Albanese will say small businesses have “consistently led the nation” in embracing solar power to “take control of their bills”, in a suggestion Labor could further incentivise businesses to take up the clean energy technology.

“Solar power is a smart investment that delivers an important return to businesses on tight margins,” Mr Albanese will say.

His speech follows last week’s $1bn announcement of a new program to build more solar panels in Australia for Australia, when he spruiked a “future made in Australia” as the centrepiece of the May budget.

On Thursday, he will double down on his pitch to increase Australia’s manufacturing capabilities.

“Our government – like you – is focused on what works and focused on what will make a difference here and now, as well as deliver for the long term,” he will say.

He will use the speech to talk of the need for Australia to show “dynamism and drive” in order to compete and succeed in a challenging global environment.

“And every advanced economy is grappling with the challenges of global inflation, the long tail of the pandemic, the uncertainty of conflict and the transformative impact of new technologies,” he will say.

“We … need to show the courage and ambition you demonstrate every day.

“The courage to invest in new ideas and new industries, the ambition for our people and our products to win in the world. This what I mean when I talk about a future made in Australia.”

His speech comes a day after Opposition Leader Peter Dutton addressed the summit, promising small businesses would benefit from cheaper energy prices, simplified labour laws, a noninterventionist government and to kibosh regulatory hurdles, should the Coalition come to power at the next federal election.

“The Coalition understands the critical role that small businesses will play in helping to lift productivity and living standards in the decades ahead,” he said on Wednesday.

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