Unfinished Business - Towards 2015 and beyond
The NSW Business Chamber’s policy blueprint, “Unfinished Business: Towards 2015 and beyond”
, highlights five challenges which will need to be met by whichever political party forms government following the 2015 state election.
The priorities for the next election include:
Fund and deliver more infrastructure across NSW through public asset swaps;
Revitalise and reform Local Government;
Deliver senior schooling more effectively to improve outcomes for young people;
Improve NSW's energy security and address pricing challenges; and
Put NSW on the front foot by creating a more competitive tax system.
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Small Business -Too Big to Ignore Campaign - What Now?
There are over 2 million small businesses in Australia, employing over 7 million people. That’s over 60% of our workforce. Yet, for too many years, small business has been overtaxed, overregulated and overlooked by government.
Launched in April 2013, NSW Business Chamber united with Chambers across the country to bring small business together and raise a big voice to be heard in Canberra at the 2013 Federal Election.
In August 2013, we embarked on a monthlong roadshow with the SkyBoard - the Southern Hemisphere's largest mobile billboard - covering thousands of kilometers, stopping at 50 towns up and down the state to raise the awareness of the issues with local communities. Many local candidates came to pitch their support for small business and discuss their policies with business owners. View a sample of roadshow videos here: Debate with local politicians and small business owners' talk about the burdens they face.
Working with all sides of politics to drive change
Cut down on the Red Tape
Excessive regulation is suffocating small business.
With over 110,000 voices supporting the campaign as at Election Date on 7 Sept 2013, we are at the ready to support the new Australian Government in implementing measures to address the 'Big 4 You Can't Ignore'.
While the Coalition holds a clear majority in the lower house, the make-up of the Senate will require the new Government to negotiate with the Opposition, Greens and minor parties to deliver on its promises to small business.
The NSW Business Chamber will continue working with its state counterparts and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industtry (ACCI) in engaging with all sides of politics to help ensure that the essential changes small business needs are made.
The Federal Coalition's Proposed Policy Commitments
The Coalition has committed to an annual red tape reduction target of $1 billion every year by eliminating unnecessary regulation. Among the Coalition's initiatives already identified to help reduce the burden of red tape include:
· Administering national paid parental leave through the Family Assistance Office
· Encouraging the ATO to make greater use of information technology
· Allowing Super payments through the ATO along with PAYG payments
· Requiring Regulatory Impact Statements for all Cabinet Submissions
· Establishing a one-stop shop for environmental approvals
The Coalition has also identified a number of measures to specifically assist small business in dealing with both Government and big business. These measures include:
· Extending unfair contract protections for small business
· Reviewing Government procurement for small business
· Ensuring automatic interest for payment of Commonwealth small business contracts
beyond 30 days
· Placing a dedicated small business minister in cabinet
· Ensuring small business representation on ACCC, Fair Work and Board of Taxation
· Refining the franchising code
· Helping small business access finance
Simplify the Tax System
The “Small Business Too big to Ignore” campaign highlighted the drag that Australia’s complex tax system is having on small business productivity.
The Coalition has committed to change the current tax system by:
· Abolishing the carbon tax and the mining tax
· Reducing the company tax rate by 1.5% cut for companies with profit less than $5m
· Reversing the changes to Fringe Benefits Tax for motor vehicles
It should be noted that the Coalition will also make a number of tax increases by abolishing small business oriented concessions that had been funded by the mining and carbon taxes. These include:
· Discontinuing instant asset write-off
· Removing accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles
· Discontinuing phasing down of interest withholding tax on financial institutions– designed to
address a tax disadvantage faced by foreign banks operating in Australia
· Discontinuing loss carry back
· Removing the increase in the instant asset write-off
Make it Easier to Employ People
The 2 million small businesses across Australia employ more than 7 million people, but Australia’s current workplace relations system makes it too hard to hire and keep good staff.
The Coalition will initiate a Productivity Commission review into the operation of the Fair Work Laws and has indicated it will take “sensible” recommendations to the next election. The policy basically retains the Fair Work Act until that time, but proposed IR related measures include:
· Not changing personal services income tax laws or targeting independent contractors to
force them into becoming employees and into enterprise agreements
· Restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission
· Reviewing the operation of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
· Delaying the increase in compulsory super
· Ensuring union rights of entry are sensible and fair
· Changing the anti-bullying provisions to include activity by unions
The Coalition has also proposed changes to better support apprenticeships including:
· Interest free “Trade Support Loans” of up to $20,000 over four years to assist with everyday
costs during an apprenticeship.
· 20% discount for successful completion
Build Better Infrastructure
Our congested roads, bottlenecked ports and overused rail networks are impacting significantly on the nation’s productivity and the liveability of our local communities.
The incoming Coalition Government has committed to:
· Making a decision as to the site of a 2nd
Sydney Airport within the first term of Government.
· Providing $5.6 billion to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway from Newcastle to
· the Queensland border
· Providing $1.5 billion to ensure the WestConnex project gets underway in Sydney
· $405 million to get Sydney’s F3 to M2 started by late 2014, which will mean shorter travel
times, reduced congestion and safer roads for the residents of the Central Coast
During the campaign, the Coalition reaffirmed its commitment to delivering the NBN however under the Coalition’s plan, the NBN will no longer be fibre-to-the-home. Instead, it will be fibre-to-the-node, with copper connections to each home. Individuals can connect their homes to the node with fibre, at their own cost.
To stay tuned to our initiatives, activities and programmes to keep the government accountable to small business' needs - become a fan on Facebook
To find out more about the premise of the campaign, please visit toobigtoignore.org.au.
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10 Big Ideas to Grow NSW
Launched on 10 March 2010, the award winning 10 Big Ideas to Grow NSW campaign was NSW Business Chamber's main policy platform leading into the 2011 State election.
The 10 core big ideas to grow NSW include:
Conduct an audit of government services to ensure value for taxpayers
Cut red tape and pay roll tax
Fight for a fairer share of the GST for NSW
Transfer hospital funding to the Commonwealth
Create an Office of the Small Business Commissioner - read more
Establish a ‘Grow Regional NSW’ fund to stimulate regional economies
Establish Infrastructure NSW
Appoint a ‘Transport Tsar’
Create 10 Super Councils
Reform the HSC, particularly to provide improved vocational education - read more.
Established as a platform to encourage conversations with political leaders across the the state, the campaign has included a number of important activities and events, including:
the launch of 10 Big Ideas to Grow NSW
development of 10 Big Ideas in reach regional area of NSW
Regional Development Forums
the NSW Deserves Better Bus Tour
the NSW Treasurers’ Debate.
10 Big Ideas Documents
10 Big Ideas to Grow NSW