Federal Govt paid industries $17b in subsidies

THE Federal Government spent more than $17 billion on subsidies for various industries in 2011-12, a Productivity Commission trade report has found.

Released on Wednesday, the report found after allowing for the cost impost of import tariffs, the government still paid industry about $10.5 billion in subsidies.

Most of the $10.5 billion was direct spending from the federal budget and tax concessions, to the tune of $9.4 billion, with net tariffs came to about $1.1 billion.

The effective rate of subsidies for manufacturing and agriculture was 4% and 3% respectively, while the car, textiles, clothing and footwear industries were subsidies by about 9% and 7% respectively.

In May 2012, the government also announced a further $430 million in subsidies for industries, primarily for fishing, car manufacturing, tourism and carbon emission reductions over the next five years.

The commission reported industry assistance in 2011-12 was about $400 million less than the previous year, with falls in tax breaks for small business and drought relief payments for farmers.

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