Election 2016: The current state of play COSBOA & ACCI

SmartCompany (extract) Monday, July 4 2016

Small business reacts

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Australia, told SmartCompany the election aftermath is “like groundhog day but with different hogs”.

Strong says COSBOA members are “trying not to be negative”, but says many are “terrified” of a Labor Government.

“The reason we’re concerned is that this is about the economy, innovation, and productivity, and we haven’t seen Labor support that fully,” says Strong.

“We’ve seen good economic rationalism from the Coalition, although we are concerned that we could see the ‘laissez-faire’ Liberal attitude come back and take hold.”

Strong says Labor could have comfortably won the election if it chose to side with small businesses over the unions.

“If Labor had embraced the 10 million threshold for tax rate cuts, they would have picked up another 1.5 per cent votes,” says Strong.

As for support for small businesses among the independents, Strong has faith that both Bob Katter and Cathy McGowan will vote for SME owners’ rights.

“With a hung parliament, that would mean accountability and transparency, which is a benefit for all Australians,” Strong says.

“In my opinion, people are afraid of the future and of the unknown, and it is now beholden on governments to start being transparent and stop playing games.”

James Pearson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement on Sunday the company tax cut for small businesses should be “legislated as soon as the next government returns to Parliament”.

“Uncertainty remains for owners of small and medium enterprises with a turnover of up to $10 million, and for larger businesses. This is disappointing,” said Pearson.

“We look to our government and our Parliament to show leadership and make it easier, not harder, for business to get on with the job.”