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Howard's about face on "Sam"

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  Australian Labor Party   National ALP

Joel Fitzgibbon - Howard's About Face On 'SAM' Thursday, 29 March 2001

Howard's About Face On 'SAM' Joel Fitzgibbon - Shadow Minister for Small Business

Media Statement - 27 March 2001

Labor's small business spokesperson, Joel Fitzgibbon, welcomed John Howard's announcement to permanently extend the option of using the Simplified Accounting Method (SAM) to small businesses with turnovers of less than $2 million, but warned it did not go far enough to address the raft of GST-related problems for small business, including cash-flow and compliance cost burden.

"It is disappointing that it has taken the Ryan by-election, ALP victories in Queensland and Western Australia, and sustained pressure from Labor and the small business community, to force the Howard Government to roll-back its policy on the BAS remittance," Mr Fitzgibbon said tonight.

"There is mounting evidence that the Coalition's new tax system is hitting small business operators hard. Everywhere Labor's BAS Inquiry has taken evidence, we have heard the same sorry GST stories: business-to-business transaction break downs, inability to pass on the cost of GST to customers, mountains of paperwork, and increased compliance costs."

And it's not just anecdotal evidence. Nationally, business confidence has hit new lows, the economy is slowing and there has been a dramatic increase in the appointment of receiver-managers over the past12 months - all attributable to the new tax system.

"We are talking about business communities' livelihoods here - not some abstract economic theory or hypothetical. Small business operators in Australia need practical solutions, and they need them now. By the time John Howard fixes the taxation problems he has created, it could be too late for many small firms," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"Tonight's announcement doesn't come close to helping those mixed businesses with turnovers of less than $2 million, many of whom have been in crisis since the introduction of the GST. When they wake up tomorrow, nothing will have changed for them."



Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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