4 October 2017
Media Release - #2017100, 2017

Red tape is an anchor that holds back small business

Small business owners and their workers now have compelling reasons to be more confident about there being better days ahead.

A brighter picture is emerging within our economy. Amid a flurry of positive economic news, jobs growth is running at record highs, exports are up, new business investment is finally beginning to increase and so is Government investment in new infrastructure, such as roads, runways and rail.

Small business is also being backed by the Turnbull Government like never before at a federal level.

As I travel around the nation talking to small business owners, they tell me two things:

They appreciate the tax cuts the Government has delivered which is helping them to grow their businesses and hire more staff. We have cut taxes for all businesses up to a turnover of $50 million a year. In addition if your business has a turnover of up to $10 million, you are now getting the small business tax incentives. The threshold used to be just $2 million. Almost 100,000 more businesses are now getting access employing around 2.2 million Australians.

These small business tax incentives include being able to immediately write off new investments up to $20,000, pooled depreciation of your assets and doing your GST on a cash basis.

The other thing small business owners tell me is that governments need to keep slashing red tape.

This lets them breathe, by blowing away the mountain of paperwork, simplifying processes, and allowing owners to get back to doing what they do best: running their business. Time is money.

And we're doing just that.

A perfect example is how we have just made the nightmare of your monthly Business Activity Statement a whole lot easier to manage by cutting the paperwork down from from three complicated pages to just three simple lines, and reducing seven questions down to three.

For your average tradie, this is an immense timesaver, and therefore cost saver. It will help keep them on the road from job to job, not stuck at home or the office with mounting paperwork and unanswered job calls.
Under Simpler BAS, a tradie is only required to enter the amount of the bill received and the GST amount that is indicated on the bill. Previously, they'd have to enter the different components of the bill as separate transactions, taking 30 minutes for each component.

The ATO believes this new system will save each small business $590 per year and generate aggregate saving of $870 million per year over a 10-year period.

In the past four years, we have cut more than $5.8 billion in business regulation red tape and compliance costs at a federal level. But we need to do more.

Most of the red tape small businesses have to deal with are at a state and local level.

State Governments are always demanding that the Federal Government give them more money. So here is what we decided to do. They will need to earn it by cutting red tape for small business.

The Commonwealth is offering $300 million if the States can cut red tape with new initiatives and prove that what they are doing will make a difference for small business. Just over $75 million is on offer to Victoria alone.

If Victoria chooses not to get involved, that money will be available to another State like NSW or Tasmania, who are prepared to do the right thing by small business.

That's the offer on the table for the Andrews Government: Lighten the red tape load on your businesses, and claim your $76 million share. I look forward to them getting involved.

The Turnbull Government gets small business.

We understand it because many of our members spent years working behind the till, walking the shop floor, running their own business.

Out of Labor's extensive shadow front bench, only three have small business experience. It is the reason why they view small business as merely one big ATM to fund spending they can never control.

Let's not forget that if Labor is elected they will take away the tax cuts that have been made law for all businesses with a turnover above $2 million.

This is just part of the more than $150 billion in new taxes on Australian families and small businesses Labor have pledged to introduce , including new taxes on investments, housing, savings, family businesses and higher income taxes.

And there is the even higher price small business will pay for their power bills by almost doubling our international commitments on climate change and forcing a 50% renewable energy target, that is both unnecessary and simply unachievable.

The Turnbull Government knows that when you back in small businesses, when they are encouraged to grow and embrace new opportunities and innovate, when you take some of the burden off their back, Australians will share the benefits in more and better paid jobs.