MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – 12 January 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR: And, the present for small business from the ACTU is, “. . . a national campaign to restrict rising casual employment across the workforce, pressing for significant changes to the federal workplace laws. . .” And, whilst the “Council of Small Business Australia chief executive Peter Strong accused the ACTU of “making stuff up” by campaigning to restrict casual work.” Given the gravity of the issue for small business a much greater and hard-hitting response would have been appropriate.

By comparison, The government and business groups have lambasted a union push to restrict casual employment as “scaremongering” and called on federal Labor to distance itself from the campaign.”

As one would expect, “The opposition refused to rule out supporting an ACTU push to make more casual workers permanent employees, with workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor echoing union concerns about rising casualisation.”

Another clear demonstration of Labor’s total lack of empathy for small business.

HOPE FOR SMALL BUSINESS: Now for some good news. Robert Gottliebsen reports: “Australia has taken the first step towards an urgently needed fairer tax system for smaller and medium-sized business.” He says: “Full praise to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, for taking that first step, but without the subsequent steps we may be worse off. . . Kelly O’Dwyer is on the right track but must finish the task and, if she does Australia, and its confidence in the taxation system will be greatly enhanced.” (See report below: Hope for small business in tax office monitoring plan)

CRUNCH TIME: Cautions Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, in her opinion piece published in The Australian, December 30, 2017, stating: “A national plan for reliable, sustainable and affordable energy exists, and our budget position is on the mend. Green shoots are appearing. During the break we cannot afford to lose this hard-won momentum; we cannot rest on reform. . . We cannot sleepwalk during the summer while other nations surge ahead, re-energising their economies after the global financial crisis.

“. . . With many Australians worried about the rapid pace of technological change, business understands we must take ownership of the transition already under way in our workplaces. We need to explain the impact of new technologies and ensure workers have the skills for the years ahead. This will be a major focus of the Business Council during the coming months. Another area of concern we worked through this year was addressing the complaint that big business failed to trade fairly with small business.”

“. . . The BCA and the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia [COSBOA] also signed a memorandum of understanding, committing us to work collaboratively on issues such as taxation and workplace relations. We recognise the best policies are those that encourage the growth of all existing businesses and help create new businesses. We must now remind Australians of the enormous contribution business — large and small — makes to their lives every day.”