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Reith convinced: politics comes before small business research funds.

Reith Convinced - Politics Comes Before Small Business Research Funds


Joel Fitzgibbon - Shadow Minister for Small Business


Media Statement - 11 May 2000


"The Howard Government cut all funding for Small Business research in its fifth Budget out of fear that future research will highlight the impact of the GST on small business", Shadow Minister for Small Business, Joel Fitzgibbon, said today.


The funding cut follows the Government's decision to cut the final year of funding for the Small Business Longitudinal Study (BLS) in its 1999/2000 Budget.


"Peter Reith is desperate not to have small business GST sentiment reflected in small business research," Mr Fitzgibbon said.


"After cutting the final year funding instalment for the Business Longitudinal Study, Reith has now abolished all research funding. In the 1999/2000 Budget, research funding totalled more than $2 million.


"You can't develop good small business policy without the backing of good research. Peter Reith seemed convinced of that in 1996, when he said:


• ...despite the increasing attention of policy-makers, we have only an incomplete knowledge of how small firms operate and the conditions which cause them to perform well or badly. Regardless of whether government policy seeks to focus on macro-economic fundamentals or on more direct programs, effective development of small business policy requires a more thorough understanding of the factors which impact on small firm performance...


Mr Reith is putting the Government's political survival ahead of the interests of the small business community. Either that or he simply missing in action again.


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