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Employment and small business



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Press R elease

8th November, 1982»

' EMPLOYMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS . . . . . . · - ' . . . .

The Australian Thsmoerat s are-the· only political party which owes

no allegiance to major pressure groups such as big business,

big unions or big m i n e r s . ■ ' -.. :; . . ' ^ . ■ ■

"BIG IS BEST8' OR "SMALL IS BEAtfnPUL" ; , ;

We.recognise the vital role of small business and self employed

people in our society and in our economy. Small business ansi

their employees account for ©v«r~d5i of- Australian industry.

Small enterprises employ people with a wide range of skills and

an. innovative approach to problem solving. By Its very nature

small b u s l w s s provides & sense- df personal involvement, a

sense of belonging and promotes Initiative.

SHALL BUSINESS IS'~85ST FOR JOBS ' . ; ' ■ ■

Small businesses - those enterpria&ja_wbich. ..emp 1 oy up to 100 employees-

are flexible and labor intensive rather than capital intensive.

They are well placed to adapt to changing economic circumstances

and to provide more.jobs Quickly^— But to do that they need support.

The Australian Democrats will press for measures to boost

industry and small business in particular, w ith particular

emphasis oh t h e ·development of domestic service industries to

. . re channel jobs replaced by technology.

IMPORT RESTRICTIONS . . 1 ' .

Australia’s-manufacturing industries are at crisis point,

Thousands ef workers have had to accept four day weeks as the

only alternative to losing their jobs, Thousands could still

lose their jsb¥~ over the next t h m u e n t h s ;. Australia needs

" ■ ■ ■ ■'.· - - . ί ; ! ' V: “ - , "" ' , " ■ "

· . . · .· ' · . · · . ?· = * ♦- . . . ■ .·· ·· . · · ·

■ ' ■ · ... ■ ; . · '

■ ■ - . ■ . . · . ' · - · . ; · · ; ; · - · : - = " · · ' · : · ..·/ - : < ' · : V-*V.. a short, sharp shockvto halt the glide-to ■ ,

jhelp overcome the trade deficit. This eveTsee® 'd0ficlt’ c: 0a\: .^:,:

current account in fS0f was I S M billion. # e £ a c e international

insolvency within very fe^? years unless « e ; .jfac^. is$LlSfiL-this.

problem, ■ ' . ■ ■*.=Λίν/,Γί;; ■ ' .

Import restrictions in the f o m - e f import quotas ^ h e a M be

introduced immediately for industries where

(a) imports c m h e ’ "replaced by local industry

(b) the local industry is reasonably competitive with

imports _

(c) productivity can be increased by the introduction of

high technology, "

Such import restrictions should be introduced as a temporary

measure only -; certainly no longer than for, three years ~ to '-•νΛν

give our industries a broathingnspace in wbicbTto restructure

tend time for n e w industries to provide sufficient job opportunities

If or f u l l employment, . ■ "

i · ■ · . ' ■ - . ■ . ■■■ . . . ' .

F I N A N C E . . . . . ; .

Small enterprises must have better access to reasonably priced

funds. We propose to make available s fund of 1500 million

through the sale of Government bends-* This fund will-be-msde

available to small business and small farmers via the trading

■ banks. We believe that for the.tise being the banks are in the

best position to judge the”viability‘and efficiency o f small .

businesses» given certain guidelines by th® Government. The

money to be made available to small business and small farmers

will be at subsidised rates of interest at about half normal

interest rates. It is expected the annual cost to the Government

would be of the order of $50...miliion. . .

■ i ,

imniSTRISUTED PROFITS .TAX

This tax should be abolished to enable small-businesses to use

more of their self generated funds for the development o f j )

their enterprises. Safeguards for tex avoidance would have to

be introduced simultaneously, ' - ' " y } " '

SALES TAX OH FREIGHT CHARGES

This ridiculous tax which arises because sales tax is charged-

on the value of the goods plus freight charges should be

abolished immediately. Senator Chipp, the leader of the

Australian Democrats, has already introduced a Bill into the

Senate which would achieve this and the Democrats are right

.behind hia,· ' . · ' . · ■ · . v

n e w B m m z M S E s / m m o p p o r t u n i t i e s ~ . : ; .: . . ·

Local industry/training programs should be generated to help

unemployed people of all ages gain skills-and .improve their

self Image, The Democrats strongly supported CYSS after the

ISSI Budget and we believe It should be expanded. Youth .

.. unemployment, in Australia is amongst the highest in the .

Western world. This must be solved no» - not in 6 o r 12 months

time. With the co-operation of business and the unions and

.government incentives,at least one work spot per enterprise could be made available immediately to be worked on a roster

basis. This would provide permanent part time work for ail

young people between the ages of 16 and 21 until such time as

they found full time employment, . . ■ ■ ■ .

No consequential penalties to unemployment benefits should

apply If these people find part time work.

TRAPS PRACTICES LEGISLATION ' . .

the| “market power” of U r g e companies is discriminating unfairly

against small business· Therefore* we will initiate immediately

amendments to the Trade Practices Act to protect small business

against unfair inroads by b ig bu siness. Section 49 (p r i c e. ·...

discrimination) is a classic example of. where the trade

Practices legislation falls down* This section seeks to

prevent damage to business as~S-result of deliberate^rice-

discrimination. It requires the damage to be deep and

far reaching and puts the onus of proof on the shoulders of

small businesses so that t h e y a r e constantly outgunned by ..

large competitors w ith ample time and money to pursue their

case. ' · · ' ·

TEACHING SKILLS . · . ' ' '. ' ' ■ ' ' · · ; ' .

Retrain teachers to enable them to teach, high technology courses,

Basic training in the use of computers should be introduced

into all schools, with a co-ordinated-program for the-development

of high technology industries. An educational work environment

ou^ht also be created in which people can work and learn,

either through permanent part time work "Xend part time study),.

We ibslieve the school leaving age ought to be gradually

increased and TEAS and other training subsidy schemes expanded

to enable low income families to keep their children at school

and in other learning situations. . ■ · . -

SENATOR JOHN, R. SIDD0N5

Senator for Victoria.

8tb November, 1982.