The ASI is disappointed that the Gillard Government’s latest Budget provides only very limited ways of spreading the benefits of the resources boom. “We echo Treasurer Swan’s remarks on 8 May that “it feels like someone else’s boom” but the Budget could have gone much further to address the economic imbalance between the booming resources and struggling non-resources sectors by placing more onus on creating incentives for business development, ASI Chief Executive Don McDonald said. “That approach would naturally flow on to provide wider community benefit by helping maintain local skills and keep people in work when they’re particularly needed now.” He said that with many in the Australian steel sector running at low levels and laying off people currently, it would have been preferable to see measures that would more directly stimulate steel demand within industry and construction. “The best way to spread the benefits of the boom is to get our businesses involved in it. This will maintain our skills base and keep people in jobs now,” he said. “We would have preferred to see company tax cuts that would have assisted our competitiveness, encouraged investment and eased the pressures on business.” The ASI recently presented the Government an Australian Industry Participation Plan policy prescription to greatly assist in spreading the work from the boom to Australian businesses with a number of its recommendations accepted at October’s Jobs Forum. Mr McDonald acknowledged some Budget measures to enable business to write-off previous losses and the $6500 instant asset write-off measures being introduced. “We also eagerly await the findings of the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce for any further measures to stimulate this strategic sector of the economy.”