The Productivity Commission has released a report outlining recommendations to accelerate productivity growth and secure Australia’s future prosperity. The report focuses on the challenges of improving productivity in service industries such as education, health, hospitality, retail, and finance, which employ 90% of Australians. These industries are labor-intensive and difficult to mass-produce, making productivity gains challenging. The commission suggests improvements in education and technology to build a skilled, adaptive workforce, with a future-income-based university funding model proposed. Additionally, the report recommends phasing out fuel taxes and replacing them with a road user charge suitable for electric cars. Other recommendations include workplace relations laws, migration reforms, and achieving net-zero emissions. Treasurer Jim Chalmers indicated that not all recommendations would be acted on, but many aligned with the government’s values and priorities. The Business Council chief urged the report to be acted upon and encouraged private investment to unleash innovation and attract new investment. Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus criticized several recommendations, including outsourcing teaching jobs to online teachers, which she said would take away the rights of working Australians.
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