Budget 2013: What it means for planning firms

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In a budget focused on growth and jobs, there has been a considerable lack of support for the businesses that would be behind that growth, according to those in the finance industry.

There are 2.7 million small businesses in Australia, according to the Institute of Public Accountants, representing 96% of all businesses; employing 47% of private sector employment; and contributing 35% GDP. 

But the IPA and AFA both expressed disappointment at the lack of measures to support such an important sector of Australia’s economy.

“There isn’t anything in there that obviously looks at helping small business succeed so I think there’s a lack of initiative focused on small businesses and a number of people have made that comment publicly,” said Phil Anderson of the AFA.

“We need to be realistic about what we expected out of this budget and I think in an election year they’ve done more than they otherwise might have. But in terms of small business, one of the key lines is ‘this is about growth and about jobs’ and I think we’ve got to recognise that small business is a key driver of jobs.”

Dante De Gori, general manager of policy and standards at the FPA also said they were disappointed to see no announcement in support of small business. “The financial planning profession has been and will continue to be under significant strain as a raft of new regulation come into effect in 2013.

“These small financial planning businesses will receive no support from Government with the implementation of Future of Financial Advice laws on 1 July. This is unfortunate, however we encourage all financial planners to use all the tools and support being provided to you through your professional association.”

Another measure that will hit small planning firms is the $2000 cap on self-education expense deductions from 1 July, 2014. SPAA head of technical and professional standards Graeme Colley said the association was disappointed that the Government was proceeding with this measure as it would increase the cost for SMSF professionals to maintain their current knowledge and competencies.

“As a market leader in SMSF accreditation, SPAA sees this change as a real blow to SMSF professionals that want to stay up-to-date and competent.”