The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) is urging Small Business owners and their employees to be aware of the consequences of their vote at the Federal Election this weekend, Saturday 2 July 2016, with some policies having the potential to have far reaching effects on small business.
Paul Nielsen, Chairman of COSBOA emphasised the importance of voters understanding the policies they are supporting rather than focusing on the politicians.
“Every vote counts. Small Business owners and employees need to be aware of the policies they’re supporting when they place their vote this weekend, especially when it comes to policies that don’t just affect the economy, but our entire country’s cultural fabric.
“Each party has policies that impact smaller private or family owned businesses, and these impacts may be felt for the next 20 years, so it’s imperative people understand what they are really voting for,” says Mr. Nielsen.
COSBOA outlines the top three core initiatives to be aware of:
Strengthen competitions laws by enacting the Effects Test
To allow small businesses to prosper and grow, in turn driving the economy and job creation, there must be a level playing field, which prevents big companies from dominating the market. The so called changes to Competition Policy, specifically Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act – The Effects Test – needs to be enacted as soon as possible, to hold big business accountable when they deliberately misuse their market power.
“Without the Effects Test there’s little to stop big businesses becoming bigger, and smaller businesses fewer, which is detrimental to Australia and to consumer choice,” says Mr. Nielsen.
Extend benefits for businesses with turnover under $2M to $10M
Currently a small business is defined as an entity with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million, but this needs to change, says COSBOA.
“This $2 million figure was relevant ten years ago but not today. A business which was turning over $2 million then, could now be turning over $4 – $5 million, but grown minimally – thus it is still a small business, which requires Government encouragement for future growth,” says Mr. Nielsen.
Increasing the threshold would help some 870,000 businesses, who employ around five million Australians.
To see small businesses thrive, the Government of the day needs to support them by tax rate cuts from 28.5% to 27.5% and allow instant write-offs of many expenses, especially when setting up a new business.
“By cutting red tape and making it easier for small businesses to operate, billions of dollars per year could be saved,” says Mr. Nielsen.
Abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal needs to abolished says Mr. Nielsen.
“With this tribunal in place, many truck owner/drivers would be driven out of business. The initiative would lock them into union determined freight charges that now only apply to major trucking companies,” he says. Ultimately freight costs will increase for all businesses.
Since the 2013 Election, COSBOA has been instrumental to the growth of small business across Australia, shaping policies and lobbying Government. Some of the highlights achieved, include the appointment of the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, stronger protections for small businesses against unfair contact terms, $1.1 billion package of incentives to help businesses of the future get off the ground and the cutting of ‘red tape’ to make business operation easier.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and are a part of our daily lives. When voting on Saturday, we want Small Business owners and their employees to make an informed decision and COSBOA is dedicated to making the facts unambiguous without the politics,” Mr. Nielsen concluded.