The Australian Government assists industries through an array of measures, including import tariffs, budgetary outlays, taxation concessions, and regulatory restrictions on competition. Although assistance generally benefits the receiving industry, it can penalise other industries, taxpayers and consumers.
Industry assistance measures are more likely to yield a net pay-off to the community when targeted at significant market failures. For instance, support for R&D funding and some measures with environmental objectives may deliver net community benefits, if well designed and implemented. Assessing whether the benefits of any particular support program exceed the costs requires detailed case-by-case consideration – a task beyond the scope of this review.