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Fallout as Henry Review concludes an SME is not an SME!

You’d have to be living under a rock this week, not to have heard about the Henry Tax review and the Rudd government’s response.  Business commentators and agencies are in full swing passing judgement on a raft of issues.

It seems to me that the Rudd government doesn’t seem to understand what a SME business really is – particularly when they restrict tax reform to those businesses who just happen to operate using a company structure.  What about the 70 percent of SME businesses who operate as sole traders or partnerships or trusts?   Just because they haven’t been through the hassle and expense of setting up a company trading structure doesn’t mean they are not relevant, fabulous small businesses in their own right!

There’s been a heap of noise around the benefits for SMEs.  I read a blog yesterday from an offshore B2B supplier repeating the government slogan for the reforms as “stronger, fairer and simpler” for Australian SMEs.  What’s “fair, strong or simple” when some of the reforms will not impact 70% of Australian SME owners and depend entirely on the mining super tax being passed by a possibly hostile Senate.  Comments like that get “zero out of ten” for ignorance around the Australian business demography.

Regardless of your political views or sensibilities, it’s seems like madness to me to restrict initiatives designed to support small business to those businesses wearing a “company” label when they represent less than a third of the very sector you’re trying to support.

There is nothing “fair, strong or simple” about it.

What do you think?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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