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Liberals walk away from small business tax cuts



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THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP MINISTER FOR HOUSING MINISTER FOR HOMELESSNESS MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

MEDIA RELEASE

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Liberals Walk Away From Small Business Tax Cuts

The Liberals have once again walked away from small business, confirming that they do not support tax cuts for this critical part of our economy.

The Gillard Government wanted to spread the benefits of the mining boom and give small businesses a one per cent company tax cut. But the Liberals and the Greens Party joined forces to ensure it would not pass Parliament.

Speaking on Sky Agenda, the Opposition Small Business spokesperson Bruce Billson confirmed that the Liberals still have not seen the light on the need to help Australia’s hard-working small business men and women.

Mr Billson said there was no need for a tax cut, saying: “only one third of Australian small businesses are structured as companies and of that one third only about half are profitable and fewer still pay company tax. So for the vast majority of small businesses that was of no value to them whatsoever.”

Meanwhile his leader, Tony Abbott, refuses to confirm whether the 1.5 per cent tax cut promise he took to the last election remains Liberal policy.

Labor remains committed to working with the Business Tax Working Group to find a way to get a tax cut that will pass Parliament.

In the meantime, we have delivered tax relief and cut red tape for more than two million small businesses through the instant asset tax write-off, which allows them to write off each new asset they buy costing up to $6,500 after the first year.

This measure is expected to pump $1 billion back into small businesses in its first year and cuts paperwork by simplifying the depreciation schedules.

We have also introduced the loss carry-back initiative, which gives incorporated small businesses the confidence to invest and innovate, knowing that if they make a loss they can claim back a deduction on tax paid in the previous year.

Unincorporated small businesses will also benefit from the trebling of the tax free threshold as part of our Cleaner Energy Future package.

We have also secured ongoing funding for the Small Business Advisory Services program, to provide business advice and mentoring to small businesses around the nation.

And we are in the process of appointing the first Australian Small Business Commissioner who will be a direct voice for small business in Canberra.

When asked today what the Coalition would do for small businesses, his immediate response was that they would put the Small Business Minister in Cabinet - something that Labor has already done.

When this was pointed out to him, his response was to query the connection between the Small Business and Housing portfolios.

If Mr Billson does not know that almost 98 per cent of construction businesses are small businesses, and that small businesses employ almost 70 per cent of workers in the construction industry, he needs to do his homework.

Media Adviser: Kylie Skotnicki 0408 823 604