Out with “innovation” and in with “business growth”

Wednesday 10 May, 2017

It seems the Government has moved away from its tried-and-failed “innovation agenda” rhetoric and back to language that resonates with the wider business community.  

The 2017 Federal Budget handed down on Tuesday focuses heavily on cutting red tape as a way to support business growth and spur business starts.

Small businesses will be seeing this change of direction as a major win, not only because ‘innovation’ became a thing that some businesses actually feared, but also given that reducing red tape is consistently identified as a top priority for businesses.

Tuesday night’s budget hand down saw up to $300 million over the next two years put aside to help relieve small businesses of the burden of red tape under the newly established National Partnership on Regulatory Reform (NPRR).

The NPRR has been structured as a “rewards system” for State and Territory governments who lessen the regulatory burden and remove restrictions to business growth and competition that hinder small businesses.

CCIQ believes the budget measures will certainly assist small business growth, but would only be fully successful if synchronised to bigger policy reforms in the areas of tax, workforce skilling and infrastructure investment.

A prime example is the recent company tax cuts passed in the Senate that should eventuate in greater growth prospects for small businesses. If coupled with reduced red tape, businesses are set to flourish by removing both the time and cost imposts currently imposed by government.

All in all, getting small businesses and red tape on the Federal Budget agenda is good news and small businesses will be pleased with what has been proposed.

Below are some big announcements that aim to grow small businesses and increase our competitiveness as a nation: 

  • National Competition Council will receive additional funding of $12.9 million over six years from 2017-18 to assess the adequacy of State and Territory reform proposals and their achievement of reform commitments.
  • Redirect $146.9 million over four years from Indigenous Business Australia to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to facilitate the delivery of innovative and effective support for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • $7.9 million over four years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to monitor and report on prices, costs and profits in the insurance market for home, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia.
  • $15 million to the Department of the Treasury over two years from 2016-17 to undertake a small business information campaign to educate the small business community about what programs and support are available to assist them.
  • $9.1 million (including $3.5 million in capital funding) for the simplification of business registration and licensing services across Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments.
  • Refocus of the Entrepreneurs’ Program to support the establishment of regional business incubators.

Announcements around business growth will be warmly welcomed by Queensland’s small business community and the attention will very much turn to the State Government now on how much red tape it will reduce to support small businesses and capitalise on the available funding under the NPRR.

CCIQ will be looking closely at the State Budget in June for such signs and in particularly at measures targeting what is considered the “reddest of red tape” – the payroll tax.  


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