We are now within just four weeks before the presidential election. And the two main parties policies for small businesses are taking form. A lot of the information included in these policies is not new. However it is worth taking a to look over the diverse policies and their potential impact on small-sized businesses.
The Policies Of The Government Parties
It is believed that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has centered. Its small business policy on a repackaging the previous announcements. The most notable of these is the move to elevate the portfolio of small businesses. To the cabinet’s interior as well as the appointment of Mark Brennan as the Federal Small Business Commissioner.
Both initiatives are welcomed. Mark Brennan is an excellent candidate for this position. However, he doesn’t have the legislative power or resources of the department that must be available to the position. This is something I’ve previously written about in The Conversation.
The problem facing the federal government is that, since that last election in 2010. We have witnessed the constant revolving doors in the form of business and small-business ministers. At first, there were Senator Nick Sherry (2010-2011), then Mark Arbib (2011-2012). And then Brendan O’Connor (2012-2013), Chris Bowen (2013) and the present Gary Gray.
While the ministerial position was transferred to the internal cabinet after. The appointment of Brendan O’Connor, the continuous rotating of ministers is problematic. It hinders good policy making and hinders ministers ability to stay to the top of the job.
The government also offers small businesses the chance to get tax advantages as part of the tax on asset. Write-offs that is instantaneous reforms (to be limit to $6,500) as well as the tax carry-back reforms. But, these announcements came from the 2012 budget by Wayne Swan. They’re also bundle with support for small businesses via the helpline and Enterprise Connect.
Council Of Australian Business Parties
Other policies that are part of the ALP include the integration. By the Council of Australian Business (COBOA) into the dialog within COAG. Council of Australian Governments (COAG). However, this is not an entirely new thing. COSBOA was grant a seat at the table during 2012 COAG discussions that focus upon meeting the red tape challenge.
The ALP has also announced that employees who have made vexatious. Complaints in relation to Fair Work Australia to have to cover the costs. This is an excellent initiative but it doesn’t really solve the basic issues. That surround our federal system of industrial relations.
Then, there’s the responsibility by the Productivity Commission to examine the method of interaction between small businesses and the regulators. The policy was that was announce at the end of December in the name of Brendan O’Connor and design to create an report card on the effect of federal and state regulations on costs for small businesses.
The draft report of the Productivity Commission was release in July of this year. It contains some helpful suggestions and observations. The majority of them are straightforward and all boil down to the government institutions making the regulations user-friendly for small-sized businesses, specifically those that comprise sole-traders. These recommendations are a great start for any new government however, getting these changes implement will be the biggest problem.
The Opposition’s Policy
The Liberal National Party (LNP) offers a broader array of policies designed to appeal to the small and medium-sized business community. In contrast to Labor The Liberals also have an constant deputy minister in the shadow to Small Business in Bruce Billson who took on the post in the year 2010.
The Coalition’s Policy for Small Business statement that was release this month details 23 policies. They can be classified into at a minimum four main areas including advocates, regulation reforms direct support, financial measures and infrastructure.
In terms of advocacy , the LNP proposes moving the portfolio of the minister for small businesses to the cabinet’s inner chambers. This is already being by Labor but one of the major differences will be the move of the portfolio for small businesses in within the Department of Treasury. Although it is a unique site for the portfolio and could result in some difficulties in implementation and repercussions, the move could give small businesses an advantage in Canberra.
Other initiatives that aim to increase the influence of small-sized businesses is that the industry is appoint representatives into major economic bodies, such as the Board of Taxation, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Fair Work Australia. This will be follow through the appointment of an Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman who will have more power.
Based on how the new initiatives are implement, they could be a welcome change since it could make a stronger advocates for small businesses. The capacity to work with existing small-business commissioners from states like NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia could provide some crucial coordination across the nation of small business policies.