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Another record low for business confidence under Labor.

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Mr Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

The Rudd Labor Government has completely annihilated business confidence since coming into office with new figures showing confidence levels have reached a new record low.

The National Australia Bank’s Monthly Business Survey and Economic Outlook for October 2008 has recorded a record fall (21 points) in business confidence to a low of -29 index points.

“Business optimism in this country has been broken by the lack of leadership by the Rudd Labor Government,” Shadow Small Business Minister Steven Ciobo said.

“It is a reflection of Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan’s inept policies for small business and their inability to instil confidence in Australia’s hard working men and women.

“The confidence readings from today’s NAB survey are worse than during the recession in the early 1990’s - Labor’s recession we had to have - yet we are not even in a recession.

“I recognise there are significant pressures on small businesses, particularly in this current economic climate, which is why Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan must show compassion for small business owners and provide them with new opportunities.

“As a result of this global economic crisis, we’ve seen Labor double its assistance for Australia’s car industry, but what about Australian’s 2.4 million small businesses, the country’s largest employer?

“The Rudd Labor Government is spending less money, now, on small business advisory and support programmes than they were 12 months ago, before the global financial crisis was on our doorstep. Now is the time Wayne Swan should be investing in small business and boosting confidence levels.

“Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan have only exacerbated problems for this country through their ill-considered policies and poor economic management, most recently evidenced by the bungled deposit guarantee.

“When it comes to government policies affecting small business, some of the biggest falls in confidence have been recorded under this Labor Government.

“This lack of confidence we’re seeing in surveys month after month, is affecting hiring patterns and will be reflected in employment figures. When is this government going to get behind small business?”