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ABC News Breakfast -

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Emma White good to see

you. Thank you. As Kevin Rudd

took his place amongst world

London the Opposition Leader leaders at the G-20 summit in

Malcolm Turnbull was in a

slightly less rarefied

atmosphere in Hobart. He was

unveiling his plan to stimulate

small business. To tell us

more the opposition finance

spokeswoman Senator Helen

Coonan joins us from Sydney.

Good morning. Good morning.

The government organised a

$2.7 billion tax break for

small business in its stimulus

package, we will get to your

announcements in a second. But

why did you oppose that? Well,

what we have said all along - I

am not hearing you very well I

am sorry if I haven't

appreciated the nuances of your

question, but what we have said

all along is that with the

stimulus packages thus far they

would have been better targeted

if they had been directed more

to the production side of

business, particularly small

business, to assist them with

cash flow. And to assist them

to maintain and create and

indeed support jobs. So that's

been fairly consistent like

from us really from the time

stimulus packages were talked

about. And what we objected to

was the short-term cash splash

in the two stimulus packages

that really have had very

little in the way of trickle

down affects, either to create

any jobs, to save any jobs,

because unemployment is getting

worse. But the small business

-. And haven't done anything

for business. But the small

business initiative was a tax

break and your initiative is a

tax incentive too. Well, the

small business tax break we

certainly in terms of the total

package. That is the $42

billion package. It was a tiny

fraction and the majority of

this cash splash was on one-off

payments. What we are trying

to do is to concentrate much

more on what will actually help

the productive side of the

economy, because we know that

unless you really enable

business you are not going to

create jobs. All the public

works don't necessarily create

the same impetus in the economy

as business does. That's why

we are trying to reinstate the capacity of business, the

confidence of business, to go

out, to invest and to employ.

So how would this plan of

yours of this tax carry back

work? Well, the tax

carry-back is - has been

introduced in other countries.

And Barack Obama recently

extended the time that's

available for the tax break

from two years to I think five

years. What it does it

allowance you to carry losses -

allows you to carry losses and

it's a way in which up to

$100,000 I think our particular

initiative goes to, up to

$100,000. It can mean

businesses have a much better

way in which they can am ultise

their losses and profit s

instead of having to do it all

in one tax year. Have you got

any idea how much this will

cost the government in terms of

lost tax review? What it is of

course is something that has to

be costed in the longer run.

But these measures are really

very small measures that have

been designed to be largely -

they will in the end be largely

neutral or they will be offset.

It is obviously at the time of

the cycle where we are

interested to know what the

government's going to do about

a huge deficit coming down the

pipeline. The forecast deficit

is $22.5 billion, the way it's

going with the spendathon it

looks like it will be more like

a $50 billion deficit up this

year, up to 70, $100 billion

next year. This is

unprecedented in Australia. We

will not be outspending the

Labor Party, let me tell you.

And everything we do will

either be offset or very

carefully costed and these

measures are small measures

designed to encourage business

to continue to employ people

and to make the tax system work

better in their favour. The

superannuation guarantee

measure was something that

Malcolm Turnbull mentioned some

months ago before I think the stimulus packages had really

been properly articulated. And

he said that that would take

some of the pressure offer

small business. So we have

been consistent in trying to do

more on the production-side

rather than the consumption

side where it is very short-term and it doesn't have

the trickle-down affect that

business really needs. If you

look for example at just at the

retail figure s yesterday there

is a 2% loss and the reasonable

Access Economics report

actually said business is

treading water. So we know

these stimulus packages that

are directed just to spending

by consumers are not working

the way they are intended. A

lot of money has been wasted

and we think that the effort

should be much more focussed on

the production side. Just

finally, and briefly, because

we are short of time. But the

big news of this morning is of

course the G-20 summit. Can

that be regarded as a success

for Kevin Rudd. The markets

have reacted positively? Well,

I think what we can say about

this is that some agreement

about how to address some of

these problems has been a

positive step. I think for

example more money going to the

IMF is a very positive step.

But it's going to really depend

on how effectively national

governments can actually

implement measures that will

affect their national

economies. And so we are

concerned that this is not a

blank cheque for Mr Rudd to

come back to Australia and to

splash more money around and plunge Australia into much

greater debt and deficit. Eventually this all has to be

paid for and a lot of economies are simply heading towards

printing money. We think that

will be an appalling step for

Australia and we want to make

sure we hold the Rudd

Government to account if there

is going to be any further

previously gone forward. You stimulus of the kind that's

can be sure you will be

watching closely. Senator

Helen Coonan in Sydney. Thanks