THE BUDGET: SmartCompany reported on the day leading up to the Budget: “Treasurer Scott Morrison says the federal government is in the small business community’s corner and it will give SMEs further tax relief and cuts to red tape. Not all Australians have shared in recent economic growth and that includes small business operators, Morrison will say as he delivers the 2017 federal budget in Parliament House tonight. “Small business owners have gone without to keep their businesses open,” the Treasurer will say.” . . . “Small business owners are out there fighting for growth in their businesses every day. They deserve our respect and support.”

And, again he has delivered for small business, “the government has committed to a number of measures aimed directly at small businesses”. And, SmartCompany reported on the day following the Budget: “The SME community has found plenty to like in a budget the Treasurer says is aimed at “backing in” small business, but entrepreneurs remain hungry for policies that help with the day-to-day challenges of running a business.” For that he and the Government are to be commended. (See list of measures in the reports, below).

Robert Gottliebsen writing in The Australian, May 11, 2017 under the heading ‘Budget 2017: government finally waking up to small business’ said: “It’s taken a long time but the Federal Coalition government has finally woken up to the fact that smaller enterprises, rather than large ones, will drive employment and will also play a big role in determining future governments.” That is in stark contrast with the report by SmartCompany on 28 April 2017, that we published in last week’s Broadcast, the report under the heading said: “’Small business owners are losing faith in Malcolm Turnbull as some sectors face tough times’. . . raises serious concern as to the Federal Government’s performance with small business.

It is said ‘a week is a long time in politics’, with the positive reports coming from small business attributed to the Budget we would trust the ‘loss of faith’ in the Government has been turned around.

SENATE INQUIRY: We refer to Nick Xenophon’s motion for a Senate inquiry into “claims that many employees working for large employers such as Coles, Woolworths, McDonalds and KFC receive lower penalty rates under their enterprise agreements than those set by the relevant modern award, giving those employers a competitive advantage over smaller businesses that pay award rates”, which was scheduled to be voted on Tuesday, 9 May 2017. As outlined in an article by Grace Collier published in last Saturday’s edition of The Weekend Australian newspaper under the heading ‘Abet wage theft, and pay the penalty’. (Copied below).

Senator Xenophon is to be commended in calling for a Senate inquiry as this is a significant issue for small business, and as he rightfully states this malfeasance is, “giving those employers a competitive advantage over smaller businesses that pay award rates”. In our judgment, the substance outlined in Ms Collier’s article is compelling and beyond refute. Accordingly, we called on the Government to support the Xenaphon motion in the Senate for a Senate Inquiry.