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Small business applauds the 2017 Federal Budget

COSBOA welcomes the continued commitment of the Australian Government to supporting small businesses in Australia, purchase via the extension of small business tax concessions, doctor investment in regional infrastructure and the establishment of a fairer banking system.

“For the third year in a row, store the Federal Government has demonstrated a genuine commitment to small business, said COSBOA CEO Peter Strong.

“By setting aside almost $1B for the $20,000 instant expenditure write-off during the next financial year– in addition to the expansion of tax cuts and instant asset write-offs for businesses with annual revenue of up to $10M – the Australian Government is clearly walking the talk when it comes to supporting Australia’s 2.5 Million small businesses”, continued Peter.

“Our clear hope is that the new $300 Million announced for the new National Partnership on Regulatory Reform announced by the Treasurer will see State and Territory Governments follow the Australian Government’s lead on genuinely supporting small business – reducing or abolishing Payroll Tax should be the key goal of this Partnership”, continued Peter

In addition to the tax and depreciation benefits being offered to small business, there are two other Budget announcements that are expected to deliver real benefits to the owners of the nation’s 2.5M small businesses (employing more than 5 million Australians), namely: a) Increased investment in transport infrastructure in Regional Australia b) The establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority as part of measures designed to make Australia’s banking system fairer.

“Investment in regional infrastructure, such as the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project provides regional businesses with improved access to potential customers in large capital city markets, as well as making it easier to connect with international markets”, said Peter.

COSBOA is very supportive of the Federal Government’s proposal to take controlling interests in the new Western Sydney Airport Corporation and Snowy Hydro.

“Privatisation of crucial energy and transport assets has gone too far in this Country – as shown by the challenges now being faced by all Australian businesses in respect of energy prices”, said Peter.

“The Budget announcement that the Australian Government intends to operate the new Western Sydney Airport and take a controlling interest (or outright ownership) of Snowy Hydro, are a very welcome first step to redressing the imbalance of infrastructure privatisation of the past”, said Peter

The establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority is also a very welcome move by Small Business.

“Too often, small business owners are shafted by the actions of big banks and these business owners have little option but to take their medicine in the face of the overwhelming power of the big banks”, said Peter.

“But this new Authority will provide business owners with a clear mechanism to seek redress where they have been unfairly done by”, said Peter.

“This new Authority - together with a raft of other measures including ACCC oversight and a system to make banking executives publicly accountable for their decisions - shows that the Australian Government has really thought about this one properly and fully”, continued Peter.

“What we welcome most about the 2017 Budget is that, for the first time in a while, we have an Australian Government that is talking up the economy with positive actions – as opposed to continued economic doom and gloom”, said Peter.

“When I travel overseas, as I have done just recently, everyone talks about how lucky we are in Australia to have an economy that has continued to grow with low unemployment rates over the past 20 years”, said Peter.

“But when you come back into the country, politicians and political commentators are talking about how bad things are – the result is that consumer sentiment is negative and people stop buying goods and services from small business”, said Peter.

Negative consumer sentiment is a killer for small business growth and it is about time we saw some positive sentiment such as that reflected in this Budget.

"I am sure that somebody will trot out an economist with a view that is contrary to the positive economic outlook presented in this latest budget – that is their choice”, said Peter.

“But economists are a bit like weather forecasters – no one truly knows the future - and if you get two economists in a room, one will tell you that the glass is ‘half full’ while the other will tell you it is ‘half empty’”, continued Peter.

“At COSBOA, we choose to see the near term economic future of Australia as one that is ‘half full’, said Peter.

“We welcome the positive economic commentary contained in this budget and hope that it makes all Australians feel positive about the future – so that they spend more with small business”, quipped Peter.

Media Inquiries Mr Peter Strong CEO, COSBOA (M) 0433 644 097

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