Joint release with
Michelle Landry MP
Federal Member for Capricornia

4 August 2017

LABOR’s fly-in, fly-out duty Senator for Capricornia, Murray Watt, has again shown how little he understands country small businesses, local MP Michelle Landry says.

“Defending the latest Labor tax grab on small business on Sky News, Senator Watt said farm exemptions were necessary because of ‘external forces’ which can affect them,” Ms Landry said.

“While the Brisbane-based Labor Senator lectured about representing farmers once as a lawyer, the small businesses in country communities which rely on farmers were the last thing on his mind.

“Murray Watt, just like Labor’s front bench, doesn’t get that seasonal ups and downs affect small businesses in town too.

“Across Capricornia, thousands of people work in our local small businesses and they provide the services on which our communities rely.

“As I work to back each and every small business, including our local farmers, with tax cuts and the instant asset write-off, Senator Watt and Labor just want to undermine their confidence and jack up their taxes.”

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack  said this was yet another example of Bill Shorten’s Labor not understanding business.

“Every reason Labor gives about trust structures helping farmers manage in seasons which aren’t as good as others is exactly the same for all small businesses, especially those in regional areas which are affected by the same natural events as farmers,” Mr McCormack said.

“I am the first country-based Small Business Minister in Australia’s history, and like Michelle Landry, I have actually run my own small business in a country community.

“That’s how we know Labor’s new tax grab on small business will hurt our big job creators in regional communities and attack confidence.

“If your season is bad on the farm, you don’t sell or buy as much cattle through your stock and station agent. You don’t buy new machinery from the dealer in town and you’re less likely to use retail stores on the high streets in your community.

“Bad seasons for farmers are bad years for small businesses too – but Labor wants those on the other side of the farm gate to pay 30 per cent more in tax.”

Mr McCormack said the comments come after Labor voted against small business tax cuts.

“Michelle Landry and I worked hard as part of the Federal Liberals and Nationals Government to cut small business taxes to 27.5 per cent – the lowest level since World War II,” Mr McCormack said.

“While our plan backs Capricornia’s small businesses to grow, invest and hire more Australians, Senator Watt and the Labor Party voted against it and haven’t ruled out a tax hike.

“If Labor’s duty Senator spent less time in television studios in Brisbane and more time listening to Capricornia’s small businesses, he might begin to understand the real impact of his Party’s latest small business tax grab.

”It’s time for Labor to abandon its #Shortenomics and follow the Government’s lead to back small business.”


Dom Hopkinson