New Government: What now for small businesses?

Written on 15 October, 2013 by Verity Meagher
Categories NewsSmall BusinessTags small business

Small business has had a rough ride over the past few years, with a succession of ministers appointed to the portfolio and less than ideal global economic conditions. So what’s ahead for the powerhouse of the Australian economy now that the Coalition government is in power? Here are six areas where small business is set for a shake-up.

Tax reform

The Coalition has vowed to reduce the company tax rate by 1.5 per cent – a promise that has important implications for cash flow.

GST in review

Although the regulations will stay intact in the interim, an Abbott review into the conditions around the Goods and Services Tax and small business obligations means that changes could be on the horizon.

Less red tape

The Coalition says it’s planning to eradicate costly regulations and abolish duplicate laws in a bid to lower expenses and save billions each year. That could result in less red tape for small businesses.

Amendments to the Fair Work system

The federal government will keep the Fair Work system intact with a few notable exceptions. These include less right-of-entry allowances for unions, a new appeal division that enables the Fair Work Ombudsman to collaborate with both employees and small businesses and a broadening of conditions under which individual flexibility agreements (IFAs) can be negotiated.

Parental leave

The federal government is aiming to have its paid parental leave scheme legislated and passed by next June. The scheme will be funded by a 1.5 per cent levy on companies earning more than five million dollars in taxable income. Payments under the scheme will be administered by the Family Assistance office, removing the burden from business.

Small business minister

The small business portfolio was something of a revolving door under Labour, with five small business ministers in 15 months. The new small business minister, Bruce Billson, has been shadow minister since 2009, and for the first time the small business minister won’t hold numerous other portfolios.

The Coalition in power means change is in the air for the small business sector. Only time will tell whether the incoming government can live up to its promises and deliver for small business owners.