Certainty needed to employ with confidence

scissors cutting many 50 dollar notes

COSBOA has called for Labor not to roll back tax cuts for small businesses if elected

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed Labor’s stance on tax cuts for business, saying he would repeal the tax cut for businesses turning over $10 million to $50 million.

“We will support any Australian business with an under $2 million turnover to get a tax reduction because we think small business could always do with all of the assistance it can get,” Mr Shorten told reporters.

“Beyond that, we’re considering our position between $2 and $10 million turnovers but fundamentally you have got to look at priorities.”

The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia says, however, that the tax cuts for businesses of up to $50 million are necessary to allow them to employ with confidence.

It said that while it appreciated that Labor had “almost recognised” the $10 million threshold for determining small business tax rates, “we do however need the tax cuts to extend to businesses with up to $50m turnover and eventually beyond”.

“If the tax cuts are maintained as per the current schedule there will be a better chance that casual employees can become permanent or part time become full time as a result of extra investment capital and extra certainty.

“And the biggest problem is the lack of certainty. It is very difficult to decide to make a person permanent if you aren’t sure that the tax conditions will stay the same after the election.

“We have been through this scenario before when Joe Hockey, in his first budget, removed tax provisions implemented by the Gillard government and backdated those changes. 

“We were extremely critical of that decision. We had one adviser tell us that small business people should have predicted the winner of the election a year earlier.

“It seems that some politicians are wanting small business people to be psephologists as well as tax experts, IR experts, safety experts and all the rest.”

Certainty is the friend of a good business plan, he said, saying that the amount of $50 million was “not too high”.

“Let’s get as much certainty as we can into the business world and confirm the tax rate for businesses.”

A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild said that of Australia’s 5700 community pharmacies, all privately owned by pharmacists, as required by State and Territory law.

“We think only around 10% of them are owned in company structures – the rest being partnerships.

“The vast majority of them have turnovers below $4 million p.a. – making local pharmacies disinterested (but not uninterested) observers of this particular taxation debate.”

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