05 September 2018

Madeleine King, a frontbencher in the Shorten Labor Opposition, says small business needs an end to uncertainty.

She says the Morrison/Turnbull Government has spent five years unsuccessfully pursuing tax cuts for the top end of town, while at the same time cutting penalty rates and funds for schools and hospitals.

Speaking at today’s workshop hosted by the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce the Federal Member for Brand, covering Rockingham and Kwinana, referred to leadership chaos in the Liberal Party and the revolving door of Ministers before calling for a return to “good, traditional and stable Cabinet processes for policy making”.

“We have had five Liberal-National Party ministers for small business since my predecessor in Brand held the role for the Labor Party; we have had four LNP appointments of resources ministers and five LNP ministers for consumer affairs,”: she told the workshop.

“The revolving door approach disrupts good government.”

Ms King says Australia is a nation of small businesses – comprising more than two million or 97.5 per cent of the 2.2 million operating in this country.

Despite uncertainty and a slow national economy, there are great opportunities and Labor wanted to explore them by working closely with the sector.

In WA, there will be significant spin-offs from the expansion of resources industries and defence.

But some core challenges exist – including the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the ATO.

The most fundamental change facing small businesses around the world is the rise of e-commerce. But the NBN has been mismanaged by the Federal Government with the project now $22 billion over budget and four years behind its promised delivery date.

Labor will establish an NBN service guarantee that will set regulated timeframes and wholesale service standards for fault rectification; installations and missed appointments.

It will introduce stronger penalties to protect small businesses on the NBN.

Labor is calling for fibre to the curb (FTTC) at a minimum, instead of fibre to the node (FTTN) in areas where that remains feasible, to provide small businesses with a faster and more reliable connection.

It also will introduce an Australian Investment Guarantee, a superior tax policy to what the Government is offering. The guarantee will deliver an upfront 20 per cent tax deduction, accelerating the depreciation on all investments in new assets, with the remaining depreciation to be undertaken in line with normal schedules.

Ms King says only last week at a COSBOA conference she attended in Sydney, the Shadow Treasurer announced the Labor will also appoint a second tax commissioner with the specific role of resolving tax disputes.

“While the second commissioners will consider appeals from individuals and businesses, we know, based on the existing case-load that it will overwhelmingly be appeals from small businesses that will keep the new second commissioner busy.”