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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2773


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (14:20): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government is removing red tape to the benefit of business and consumers, and how does this build a more efficient economy and help create jobs?

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:20): I would like to thank the member for Robertson for her question and recognise the fact that the member for Robertson has been an indefatigable advocate for the Central Coast, having worked with the member for Dobell to deliver more than 600 new jobs through the Australian Taxation Office and other offices, with a new centre of excellence on the Central Coast. Also, she has been a great advocate of a new medical research education centre on the Central Coast, which has, I understand, won favourable support during the course of the New South Wales election.

But what we have got to do is try and get more small businesses more active in business to employ more people. Currently, a lot of small businesses are paying a heavy burden as a result of the red tape that was imposed by the Labor Party. Now, the Labor Party, when they were in government, introduced 21,000 new or amended regulations in six years—21,000 new regulations in six years. That is what the Labor Party did. You wonder how small business copes under that burden, that massive burden of 21,000 new regulations which the Labor Party introduced.

The good news is that we are getting rid of that red tape. We have made substantial progress so far: 10,000 pieces of legislation and regulation have gone. Today is Repeal Day in the parliament, when we get rid of more red tape and regulation. More than 50,000 pages of red tape and regulation have gone under this government in less than 18 months. How good is that for small business? Leading the charge have been the member for Kooyong and the member for Pearce, and I tell you what: there has been substantial leadership from the Minister for Small Business, because small business carries that burden more than almost anyone else. The Minister for Small Business has led in these two regards in particular: 45,000 small businesses that have no GST reporting requirements will no longer have to lodge a business activity statement; and 400,000 small businesses with modest incomes that are required to lodge a BAS will no longer have to interact with the PAYG instalment system. That saves small business $67 million a year. These are real, on-the-ground initiatives that cut the red tape and get rid of that massive burden that was imposed by the Labor Party on everyday Australian businesses.