OpEd: Shortenomics will take its toll on small business - Daily Telegraph

OpEd, The Daily Telegraph, 8 August 2017

IT’S no small feat to start out as a sole trader.

To take an idea, to back yourself and to have a go.

There are no guarantees. No clauses. No caveats. It’s you and your own hard work.

I remember – fifteen years ago that was me. I started my own small business doing much the same. I had three kids and my family needed food on the table.

So I got to work.

And every single day millions of you do the same.

That’s why the Liberals and Nationals want to make it easier for small businesses, regardless of their business structure.

We know you are the risk takers our nation needs to survive and grow. You build our houses, feed and clothe us, and keep Australia moving. We know you are the ones who give our kids the start they deserve and you invest in our communities.

And we know you work damn hard.

So recently, we reduced unincorporated small business taxes by eight per cent and expanded the definition of a small unincorporated business from $2 million turnover to $5 million.

We also reduced the small business tax rate for companies to 27.5 per cent and expanded the small business definition from a $2 million to $10 million turnover. That’s the lowest company tax rate since WWII.

This made thousands more businesses eligible for the $20,000 instant asset write-off.  So you can buy the new equipment – maybe new tools, a computer or a run-a-round ute – and write it off immediately helping your business grow.

Because when you’re going well, so too is our country. And we want to help you do well.

But recently the politics of envy has taken over and Labor has you in its sights.

In spruiking the need for new taxes and abolishing trusts, your turnover is seen as a river of gold from which Labor can fund its tax-and-spend ideology, hurting business and our economy.

Bill Shorten’s new tax grab on trusts will hit 200,000 small businesses. It’s policy on-the-run which targets stock and station agents but exempts the farmers who drive their businesses.

It forgets stock and station agents go through seasonal ups and downs too, as does every small business along a country town’s main street.

It’s another Labor thought bubble.

Labor doesn’t get regional Australia and it doesn’t get small business.  

It calls you “millionaires”, jealous of your success and the growth you create.

Labor doesn’t get that you grow our economy and it doesn’t get that tax cuts actually help jobs and wages grow. Which is not a surprise, given very few of them – around half a dozen of almost a hundred Labor MPs – have actually run a business.

That’s why when tax grabs are all the go, Labor looks at you.

We introduced that law to cut your taxes and Labor voted against it. We increased the number of small businesses – including sole traders – who could use the $20,000 instant asset write-off. Labor wants to roll that back.

Our tax cut plan means even more small businesses can hire more Australians, grow our economy and workers’ wages, while Bill Shorten wants to put his hand in your till.

Around Australia I have met hundreds of small businesses using our tax cuts to hire more people, pursue new ideas and help our economy grow.

I’ve seen how you use the instant asset write-off. I’ve heard about the “chain reaction” it helps create.

I know what you can do with a bit of confidence and a Government which backs you. That’s what we Liberal and Nationals do every day.

Michael McCormack is Australia’s Small Business Minister and The Nationals’ MP for Riverina.

Dom Hopkinson