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New government – what now for small business?

As Tony Abbott and the coalition took a convincing election victory at the weekend, business now looks to the weeks and months ahead, and what changes are likely to be made.

Business groups including the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) have congratulated the victory of the incoming government.

“The election outcome has the potential to deliver a much-needed period of political stability and certainty and lay the groundwork for strong gains in productivity and competitiveness,” Ai Group CEO Innes Willox said.

“While Australia’s economy is stronger than most, we also face significant risks – and there are many areas where we need to do better,” Willox said.

VECCI CEO Mark Stone also weighed in that the end of the minority government will be welcomed by business. Stone said he hopes the Coalition Government will provide much needed stability, consistency and coherent policy leadership.

“Business felt squeezed out during the period of minority government while minority voices and interest groups held sway,” Stone said.

“The Coalition must now focus its attention on building the confidence and capacity of the private sector through a whole-of-government reform agenda,” he said, adding that what the business community now needs is action and follow-through from the Government so it can get on with creating jobs and income.

The following summary compiled by VECCI outlines the coalition’s pre-election policy announcements across the key business verticals of tax and finance, regulation and red tape, workplace relations, and infrastructure.

Tax and finance

  • Will reverse Labor’s Fringe Benefits Tax changes for motor vehicles
  • Instant asset write-off will be scrapped when mining tax is abolished
  • Loss carry back scheme will be scrapped when mining tax is abolished
  • Will delay compulsory superannuation increases by two years
  • Tax reform white paper within two years
  • Abolish carbon tax
  • Abolish mining tax
  • Company tax rate to be cut from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent
  • Government agencies to be forced to pay their bills on time or pay interest
  • Commitment to help small business access affordable finance

Regulation and red tape

  • Reduce red tape by $1 billion per annum
  • ATO to administer superannuation for small business
  • Government to administer all paid parental leave payments
  • $6 million to create a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
  • Immunity from prosecution by Fair Work Ombudsman if advice has been sought and error not deliberate
  • Small business appointments to key regulatory bodies (ACCC, the Board of Taxation and the Fair Work Commission)
  • Small business minister in cabinet
  • Parliament to spend two days a year removing legislation and regulations
  • Regulatory impact statements for all cabinet submissions
  • One-stop shop for environmental approvals
  • Review competition laws and policy
  • Improved access for small business to Commonwealth contracts

Workplace relations

  • Productivity commission inquiry into Fair Work laws
  • 26 weeks paid parental leave at full replacement wage (up to $75k) plus super, partially funded by 1.5 per cent levy on approximately 3,200 big businesses
  • Will restore the 2007 Right of Entry laws
  • Will restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission
  • Will adopt the recommendations of the Fair Work review panel
  • Will introduce three-month time limit for completion of major projects Greenfields agreements


  • $1.5 billion for the East West Link

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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