Despite an attempted backflip by Labor Leader Bill Shorten – just days after his policy-on-the-run announcement – small, medium and family businesses still cannot trust Labor, The Nationals say.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack, a former regional small business owner and Small Business Minister, said small and medium business simply mystifies the Labor Party.

“Today’s announcement from Labor to jack up taxes for Australian businesses shows it has no plan for small business, no plan for the economy and no plan for confidence in rural and regional Australia,” Mr McCormack said.

“This week Labor followed its instincts and went straight to small, medium and family business for a tax-grab. It’s clear Labor thinks the sector is dispensable, especially in the regions.

“Labor does not understand the real face of family business – the Australians who work hard, want to create jobs and get ahead, especially farmers.

“It doesn’t get that tax cuts help create confidence and jobs within the economy. It does not appreciate the uncertainty and worry its commitment to rollback tax cuts caused the sector around the country, especially in the regions.”

Labor’s announcement confirms it will increase taxes for all small and medium businesses, with only the Liberals and Nationals committed to a 25 per cent company tax rate.

“This sorry episode simply shows how quickly Labor would sell-out small business – just as it would sell out rural and regional Australia – to serve its Leader’s interests,” Mr McCormack said.

“Today’s announcement says little of Labor’s sudden care for small business. It’s more about its own internal crisis than it reflects genuine concern for hard-working Australians in small business.”

Deputy Nationals’ Leader Bridget McKenzie said the Liberal and Nationals’ Government changed the law to cut tax for small, medium and family business to 25 per cent.

“We changed the law to encourage more small, medium and family businesses to reinvest in themselves, to hire more staff and to have a go – and we can already see how tax relief is helping,” Senator McKenzie said.

“Labor voted against that tax cut and regional businesses always doubted its commitment to helping grow a sector which employs millions of Australians.

“Today’s attempted backflip shows what an after-thought regional Australia is and always will be for Labor.”

“Labor simply does not understand the difference between turnover and profit because so few of its MPs have ever run or worked in a small business or on a farm,” Senator McKenzie said.

“That is why regional Australia is front and centre of Labor’s tax attack and it is what local small, medium and family businesses are worried about.

“As Minister for Sport I see feats of athleticism quite often, and today it seems Bill Shorten couldn’t even get his backflip right!”

Sam Edwards