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Any hope for small business?

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Media Release Geoff Prosser M.P. FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FORREST

Sh ad ow M inister for Small Business, Housing an d Customs.



The Government's Industry Statement will do little to put the tattered small business sector on the road to recovery, according to the Federal Opposition.

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Housing and Customs, Geoff Prosser, said today that he was disappointed that the Government had once again shown its complete disregard for small business.

"Small businesses have been bearing the brunt of this recession, shown by the massive 57% increase in bankruptcies in the December quarter.

"Clearly both small business and the market were looking today for a signal from the Government which will restore the lost confidence to the sector.

"In restoring this confidence they were seeking from the

Government a recognition of the economy's structural problems and a commitment to real reform.

"But once again they were disappointed. The Government paid only lip service to small business. They offered little hope for change and failed to provide the groundwork for the sector's growth and development."

However, Mr Prosser welcomed the benefit which a limited number of small firms will gain from the extension of sales tax

exemptions and the new depreciation arrangements.

"But many, many small firms are involved in retail, tourism and other service industries. Their situation will remain unchanged - they will continue to struggle.

"In making their changes to the wholesale sales tax the

government has recognised that the system is inefficient and full of anomalies. But they did not have the courage to bite the

bullet and scrap the WST and to replace it with a Goods and

Services Tax.

"Again they have resorted to futile and superficial measures, rather than getting to the heart of the problem.

"Significantly, the Government also glossed over one of the major problems facing small business - labour on-costs. They presented no solution for the financial burden which 17.5% leave loading, rostered days off etc impose on small firms."




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Mr Prosser said that he was concerned that small business had obviously been unable to get their voice heard in Canberra.

"Today the Government basically gave away $856 million (in 1992-93) to big business, the rural sector and other

institutions and yet gave only soothing words to small business.

"Even when industry policy is supposedly back on the drawing board, the Minister for Small Business did not have enough clout to get something directed his w a y . "


CONTACT: Geoff Prosser - 06 277 4717

Karen Kuschert - 06 277 4717 - w - 06 286 5002 - h