Mid-year budget contains ‘welcomed gifts’ for small businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the mid-year budget update.

According to the Ombudsman, the update contains some “welcomed gifts” for small businesses.

“It’s encouraging to see the federal government has allocated funds to establish the national payment times reporting framework,” Ms Carnell said.

“The framework will require large businesses to publish information about their payment policies, including how much time it takes to pay their small business suppliers.

“Critically, the government will provide $156.2 million over four years to streamline regulatory compliance processes and cut the cost of doing business.

“This includes the creation of a single national business register and the introduction of Director Identification Numbers.

“We also welcome continued efforts by the government to combat illegal phoenixing behaviour. Illegal phoenixing not only hurts small businesses, it costs the economy as much as $3 billion per year.

“The government will spend $10 million over two years on its deregulation agenda to make it easier for small businesses to employ staff and invest in growth.

“A new online checklist will provide small business employers with a guide to employing their first worker, along with a commitment to developing a new prototype ‘regtech’ platform.

“Funds have also been committed to extend the free tax clinic program, following a successful pilot program.”

Looking to 2020

There are a number of items on the Ombudsman’s “wish list” when it comes to the May 2020 Budget. This begins with the extension of the instant asset write-off scheme, says Ms Carnell.

“A lift in the $30,000 threshold for the instant asset write-off would be welcome, with some industries such as farming requiring a higher threshold to enable them to purchase equipment,” she said.

“We also want to see some funds towards implementing the recommendations in the Joyce review, so that small businesses can get the staff they need with the right skills and training.

“At the end of the day, small businesses just want to be able to get on with the job of growing their business.

“We will continue to talk further with the government on measures that will benefit the small business sector and stimulate the economy.”

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