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'More time for business' to cut costs and compliance for small business.

THE paperwork and compliance burden on small business will be reduced by the Government's small business statement More Time for Business, the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs, Geoff Prosser, said today.

Releasing the Government's response to the Small Business Deregulation Task Force Report, Mr Prosser said small businesses would save time and money under the reforms.

He outlined an ambitious but achievable reform agenda targeting regulation reform and a tangible reduction in the paperwork and compliance burden for small business.

"Our response today shows that the Government means business when it comes to lifting the load from small business," he said.

"Small business operators spend too much time complying with paperwork and regulation. Our reforms will reduce that time so they can focus on growing their business and creating jobs for Australians - in particular our young people.

"Real job growth in this country will come from small businesses, and our job as a government is to create the right environment for business to grow and employ. Today's reforms show our strong commitment to small businesses in Australia."

The initiatives announced by the Prime Minister in the House of Representatives today will:

. simplify taxation compliance,

. make it easier for businesses to employ through industrial relations reforms, reduce the complexity and delays in business approvals and registration,

. set up a single registration process for the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities Commission, Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Insurance and Superannuation Commission; . introduce a comprehensive business information service,

. assist small firms to commercialise their research and development,

. require Government departments to justify new regulations in a Regulation Impact Statement, and . accelerate Commonwealth. State and Territory reform of rules and regulations.

"We acknowledge that small business is doing it tough in a number of areas, but together with our existing program of reform this package will help small business operators take advantage of a steadily improving economy," Mr Prosser said

"This statement will transform the regulatory culture in this country. And we will make sure it stays that way with regular reviews to ensure that we have done what we set out to do."

Mr Prosser said he was appreciative of the support of the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations in formulating the reforms.

Further information:

Simon Troeth, Minister's office, 06 277 7790; 0419 412 715