While congratulating Anthony Albanese on his election victory, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) says it looks forward to working with the government to provide the best policy settings for small business owners.
COSBOA also stated that SMEs expect lower merchant fees, stricter late payment regulations, and the continued regulatory reforms introduced in the budget.
“It is our understanding that small business owners can look forward to lower merchant fees, greater preparedness for natural disasters, greater regulation around late payments, and the continuation of the regulatory reforms introduced in the Coalition’s budget,” COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said.
“We are heartened by Albanese’s promise of a collaborative approach that would give everyone a seat at the table and look forward to working with the new government to implement the best possible policy settings for the betterment of small business owners and those who work for them.”
Lifting the minimum wage
The Fair Work Commission will issue its annual minimum wage decision in June. Unions believe 5.5 per cent is a reasonable increase, while employer groups prefer no more than 3%.
Earlier, Labour leader Anthony Albanese took the unusual step of endorsing a minimum wage increase of at least 5.1% to keep up with the inflation rate. He stated that he would “absolutely” support a 5.1% increase in the minimum wage, while unions are pushing for a 5.5 per cent increase.
“Small business owners will be watching the minimum wage decision with interest. We urge the new government to address industrial relations reform, the rising cost of doing business, and the most urgent issue – that of worker shortages – as soon as possible.”
“We also look forward to working with the Albanese government on reducing the burden of compliance and levelling the playing field between big and small businesses. There’s lots of work to do in structural reform to give small business owners back when COVID stole from them.”
COSBOA also notes the strong performance of independent candidates and minor parties this weekend.
“COSBOA has long warned that small business owners have been feeling fatigued. That sense of fatigue probably extends to the political status quo. After the experience of bushfires, COVID lockdowns, and floods, small business owners – like many Australians – were looking for politicians who promised a better future.”
Ms Boyd also thanked the Coalition for its strong small business support during its nine years in government.
“We got some fantastic initiatives and reforms such as mental health support for small business owners, the instant asset write-off, the initial protections against unfair contract terms, single touch payroll, e-Invoicing, support for digitisation, and of course the unprecedented pandemic support programs like JobKeeper and the Cashflow Boost.”
Ms Boyd concluded, “Small businesses don’t just make substantial contributions to our economy – they’re also at the heart of our local communities. Politicians who recognise both of those facts will have the respect of small business people.”
Full statement here