MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – 16 March 2018

SMALL BUSINESS UPBEAT: On, March 12, 2018 two separate reports, one in The West Australian reported “A Westpac-Melbourne Institute measure of the small business sector shows growing confidence nationally, but especially in WA, over the past three months.”

The other, in The Australian reported: “a survey of small exporting businesses, conducted by the government-owned Export Finance Insurance Corporation, has found a high level of confidence.

And, while “The survey found that 58 per cent say their financial position is better than 12 months ago, while 9 per cent say it is worse. Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said small businesses were being helped in export markets by the trade deals the government has negotiated.

Those reports show growing and high levels of confidence hearalds great news for small business, and WA small businesses in particular.

$50pw WAGE CLAIM: This outrageous claim is a classic example that the ACTU and Labor has no understanding of or empathy for small business. Employer’s response as reported in The Australian, March 13, 2018, states: “Employers warned granting the “extraordinary, ambit” claim would force small businesses to lay off employees and reduce trading hours. Business groups will seek to limit the increase to $12.50 to $13.20 a week.”

And, “Business groups have a different view: they are calling for a much smaller increase in the minimum wage.

In a statement, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry James Pearson argued the ACTU’s proposal is impractical and there needs to be a wage rise that does not put small businesses at risk. The Australian Chamber has proposed a wage rise of 1.9% in its submission.

ATO “CRACKDOWN”: ATO signals crackdown on “other” work-related deductions, . . In a memo to taxpayers on Tuesday, assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said the tax office will be shining the spotlight on all claims made that fall into the category of “other” work-related deductions.” Approaching tax time small businesses need to be aware of making claims of on “other” work-related deductions.” That the ATO will be “will be shining the spotlight on.

ATO “BULLYING” and “HARASSMENT”: “Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer released draft legislation last month that would allow the ATO to disclose to credit reporting agencies tax debts owed by small businesses.” And, “Self-Employed Australia ex­ecutive director Ken Phillips said the group had serious concerns with the ATO’s definition of ­“effectively engaged” based on past experiences, with the ATO remaining solely responsible for determining whether a business was “effectively engaging” or otherwise.”

If legislated, this represents the Government letting loose its attack dog on small business by giving it technical weasel words that only it has license to interpret the meaning of in order for it “bully” and “harass” small businesses that have little capacity to defend themselves. Great stuff Kelly, you must be pleased!