Both political parties have awoken to the voting power of smaller businesses and are making a greater effort to get them onside.
The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) is pleased to see the change and has compared the responses of the two parties.
Competition policy, representation, red tape and tax benefits for small businesses are front and centre of the election, according to Peter Strong, executive director of COSBOA.
An important factor for planning firms is fair competition. While COSBOA says that Labor has remained silent, the Coalition will do a root and branch review of the competition policy within the first 100 days of power.
“For too long big business associations and big government exponents have claimed that competition policy in this country is good,” says Strong. “They have succumbed to the influence of a few wealthy organisations to the detriment of consumers and small business people.”
Both parties will act on removing small businesses from the super collection policy, but COSBOA is not happy that the Coalition will remove the instant tax write-off, loss carry back provisions and the $5k instant write-off for buying motor vehicles.
A comparison table on the COSBOA website shows that Tony Abbott’s Coalition has a focus on the big issues of competition policy and contract law while Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party is looking at support services and tax benefits. Both parties are looking to maintain or increase representation on key committees and in key agencies and also get rid of red tape.
“A range of surveys and nearly all research over the last 12 months have shown that the biggest current issue for the small business community is a lack of confidence and uncertainty about the future,” said COSBOA in its analysis.
“The reality is that small business people are by their nature confident, optimistic and constructive, otherwise they wouldn’t go into business. We must not affect that confidence and indeed we should give them every reason to be confident of the future.”
What are the most important issues to you as a small business?