19 Mar 2010

Productivity body must have wide scope - CTU

5:27 pm on 19 March 2010

The scope of a newly-announced productivity commission will be crucial to its success, the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says.

The Government is to create a commission modelled on Australia's independent research and advisory body in a bid to lift the economy's performance.

The plan is part of the National Party's confidence-and-supply agreement with the ACT Party.

The commission, which will include members from the public and private sectors, will review existing regulations and conduct inquiries as recommended by the Minister of Finance.

ACT leader Rodney Hide says the commission and its Australian counterpart may work together on issues in the future.

CTU secretary Peter Conway says that while the commission should provide an integrated focus on major issues to lift wages and living standards, its design and work plan will be crucial.

"It may be small in scale compared with Australia but we don't want it to be narrow in scope.

"For instance, we don't want it to be just on regulatory reform, it must include the workplace, multifactor productivity and a broad range of issues that contribute to productivity."

Business groups have welcomed the move.

The commission will receive up to $5 million a year, which will come from existing budgets across the state sector. It's expected to be operating in April next year.