3 August 2017

THE damaging impact of Bill Shorten’s latest tax attack on more than 200,000 Australian small businesses is made murkier by the day, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

“A growing chorus of concerns is drawing attention to the real damage Bill Shorten’s big new tax whack would have for small businesses and jobs,” Mr McCormack said.

“Labor should be embarrassed by comments today from the author of the Howard Government’s Review of Business Taxation, John Ralph, whose work Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen triumphantly claimed at the weekend he had ‘followed through’ with.”

Mr McCormack pointed to Mr Ralph’s assessment that Labor’s latest attack on small business was just ‘more tax’ and, when combined with its other tax increase proposals, would ‘have a negative impact on the growth of the economy’.

“Mr Ralph made Labor’s claimed revenue forecasts look more heroic than an Avengers movie, warning the proposal would almost certainly ‘drive creation of different structures for the same end’,” Mr McCormack said.

“We can assume the effects are even worse, given Labor’s track record and its persistent refusal to release the policy detail.”

Mr McCormack said big questions continue to be ignored that Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen needed to answer:

  • Why won’t Labor release its full costings? What does the Parliamentary Budget Office say about the reliability of its costings? Chris Bowen often complains about not seeing the detail and now he’s gone missing.
  • What consultations were held with small business or their representatives and when did these occur? Chris Bowen called consultations on the proposal ‘extensive’. If that’s the case, why does he continually dodge the question?
  • Why does Labor’s proposal carve out farmers but not exempt businesses that rely on farming, including stock and station agents?

Bill Shorten and Labor’s answer to everything is to rob more small businesses and their employees of the reward for their hard work, while telling them they’re better off,” Mr McCormack said.

“This is yet another example of Bill Shorten and Labor looking to reach into the tills of hardworking small businesses to fund their spending addiction.

“Less than a week on, the damaging effects of Labor’s small business tax grab is the latest sign that #Shortenomics will hurt small business confidence, damage our economy, and stand in the way of job and wages growth.”



Dom Hopkinson