Is the above business-like approach really outside the capabilities of our elected officials? When every vote counts decisions can be compromised. This is an unfortunate fact since Democracy (or what we now know as Democracy) began.
It would therefore be prudent to appoint a successful business person to head such a Department with powers level with that of a Minister, to ensure success.
The saving of hundreds of thousands of dollars would result, if expedited correctly, an amount equal to hundreds of people not having to pay tax for a year. As the appointee would be on a contract they would have no fear of losing votes, leading to decisive and correct decisions being made.
Surely a winner for everyone, especially as the above savings figure is extremely conservative. In fact savings of millions of dollars would be the set target, anything less being regarded as a failure, over the term of implementation (years).
But would politicians have the courage to give someone the power and authority to achieve this? Unfortunately I fear not, for once again they would wonder if introducing such a system might anger some minority groups and lose them votes. Or potentially cause disgruntled public servants to voice discontent. The right person for this role would take note of any such discontent and target them for removal.
Change is far easier to implement when you have new employees who are unaware of ‘old’ procedures, and are more willing to accept new ways of thinking.
By Michelle Hammond
D&B’s latest National Business Expectations Survey shows the cost of doing business is taking its toll, with businesses delaying plans to hire new staff and putting off investments.
The survey’s index has continued a downward trend through to the June 2013 quarter, falling below its 10-year average level, to a score of zero.
The research also shows no new jobs have been added since the March quarter of 2012, with the actual employment index remaining in negative territory for three consecutive quarters.
In December last year, the index dropped to -7. This was its lowest point in more than three years.
The survey shows 75% of businesses see cashflow as an issue during the months ahead, with 44% of businesses identifying operational costs as their biggest barrier.
Danielle Woods, Dun & Bradstreet director of corporate affairs, told StartupSmart she’s not surprised by the findings.
“To be fair, we’ve seen this real downward trend in sentiment in recent months. The six indices we look at are trending down, so the cashflow issue is not a surprise to me,” Woods says.
“Trade credit is a huge thing for businesses in Australia… Our analysis is showing [trade payment times are] still sitting at 52 days.
“When businesses are taking 52 days, that can be a real strain on another firm’s cashflow.
“With these conditions prevailing, it’s unsurprising to see the outlook for both employment and investment falling away.”
Investment expectations for the June 2013 quarter dropped sharply to an index of five, compared to 14 in the previous quarter.
The outlook for capital spending is now at its lowest level since the September 2011 quarter, while the actual index for the December 2012 quarter is -3.
The outlook for sales has declined for the second consecutive quarter, while expectations for selling prices continues to move lower – the index decreased to two for the June 2013 quarter, well under its 10-year average of 29 points.
The broad fall in expectations suggests operating conditions will remain difficult at least until the middle of this year, with businesses also finding little relief in their cashflow position.
“The current and future challenges for businesses continue to come from a sluggish economy, Woods said.
“Sales growth is weak, businesses face challenging operating conditions and consumer spending is soft.
“We can expect businesses to keep a tight check on their expenses and continue to delay larger investments such as new jobs.”
D&B’s findings are in stark contrast to the latest MYOB research, which shows economic confidence and the overall business outlook of SMEs is on the rise.
According to the March 2013 MYOB Business Monitor, 26% of SMEs expect the domestic economy to improve within 12 months, compared to 19% in the July 2012 report.
The report, which is based on a study of 1,005 business owners and managers, shows 30% of respondents anticipate a revenue rise this year while 42% expect revenue to be stable.
Well, it looks like we survived (sort of). The unemployment rate did not leap up as predicted, although personally I believe this is because many people went from full-time to part-time work or at least had their hours reduced.
So, while we wait for the inevitable bleating from world governments regarding how they need to massively increase taxes to pay for their amazing stimulus packages, we watch as millions are wasted in Copenhagen.
The merry-go-round continues!
Over the past two years unprecedented international market volatility, caused by the Global Financial Crisis, have made all previous methods of predicting market directions obsolete.
Will this continue? If so, in what form? Has the market always been driven by media releases and the Global Financial Crisis has exposed this, or do ‘tested’ methods of market prediction such as charting still have a place in funds management, stock trading and currency movements?
Here in South Australia, where the full effect of this crisis has yet to be realised, will investors react to the media or market data? Or both? When the media is negative and market data positive which direction does the market move in?
The recent volatility has irrevocably altered how investors view market information, and the intellectual conundrum I intend to question is “In future will traders be swayed by analysis of market data or by collective media reports?’.