Small business welcomes measures in “honest and fair” Budget
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says the 2017 Federal Budget continues Turnbull Government measures to help small business.
CCIQ welcomes announcements such as the successful instant asset write-off extended another year and an innovation and incentive fund to cut red tape for small business.
CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Kate Whittle said it was an “education and infrastructure budget” with not a lot of direct measures to help small business – as delivered last year.
“However, small business is happy with what the Treasurer brought to the table and some of the indirect measures which will have a flow-on effect throughout Queensland,” she said.
“Defence spending will help regions such as Townsville, while a massive spend on Bruce Highway upgrades will greatly benefit the southeast.
“Treasurer Scott Morrison said ‘small business deserves our respect and support’. This is an education and infrastructure budget, but there are measures that are targeted at small business that will see them grow, employ, and invest in their business.”
CCIQ noted Budget highlights for small business included the instant asset write-off up to $20,000 extended to June 2018 and made available to businesses with a turnover up to $10 million.
“This reflected CCIQ submissions and we know the measure encourages small businesses to invest,” Ms Whittle said.
“We welcome the agreement to work with states and territories to cut red tape through the $300 million National Partnership on Regulatory Reform.
“The strong infrastructure focus in the Budget ($75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing over the next 10 years) is welcomed by businesses as it makes us more productive, while allowing them to take advantage of historically low interest rates.”
Big ticket items for Queensland include:
• $844 million to upgrade the Bruce Highway, including $530 million for works from Pine Rivers to Caloundra.
• $10 billion National Rail Program to deliver rail projects for urban centres and regions. CCIQ will work with the Queensland Government to ensure Cross River Rail is eligible for this.
• Government will fund the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project with $8.4 billion in equity to be provided to the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Ms Whittle said the Skilling Australians Fund's efforts will improve the skills of the Australian workforce, particularly through apprenticeships.
“We have seen apprenticeship take-up’s decline 45 per cent in the last five years,” she said.
“We caution the Government against increased costs for employers filling skills shortages via the temporary skills shortage visa and the employer-nomination scheme for permanent migrants. Overseas workers are needed by businesses, they help them grow, and create jobs.
“Small business is pleased to see energy pricing on the radar, with funding the ACCC to investigate and police competition in retail electricity markets.”
Ms Whittle said the crackdown on multinational tax, which raised $2.9 billion in tax liabilities this year, and raising $4 billion in total, was a strong measure to hold multinationals accountable to the Australian tax base.
The Government's decision to recommit to the full suite of the Enterprise Tax Plan was also positive.