Federal Budget 2013 impacts on small business

The Council of Small Business Australia’s (COSBOA) CEO, Peter Strong, provides his summary of what the Government’s Federal Budget announcement means for small businesses – do they stand to benefit or will they be worse off?

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Summary overview

Peter Strong, Executive Director of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) acknowledges the significant budget deficit of $20 billion, but was pleased to see continuing commitment to invest in innovation and support for small business.

“Given the depth of the deficit we were pleased to see support for: the Enterprise Connect program; assistance to SMEs to apply for public sector work; and support for small businesses to engage in the digital economy and take advantage of the NBN,” said Mr Strong.

However, COSBOA was disappointed that there wasn’t more of a focus on the core issues that really matter for small business.

“We see these as compliance costs, complex work place relations, confusing tax processes that place huge demands on the small business person, competition policy and contract law that favours big businesses.”

Specific changes identified in the budget

Small business key areas addressed in today’s federal budget announcement:

  • Infrastructure: COSBOA expects a positive impact on small businesses particularly in regional areas from the continuing infrastructure investment.
  • Innovation: COSBOA are pleased to see the government continuing to fund support for innovative small businesses. However, how these funds will be distributed to small businesses still needs to be determined. We need to make sure that application processes aren’t complicated and don’t inhibit small business people.
  • Tax: COSBOA continues to be concerned about the complexity of the tax system which hasn’t seen any changes from this budget. The demands placed on small business people to collect tax on behalf of employees (in the form of PAYG) and customers (in the form of GST) are too great. The government has ignored the opportunity to collect more tax revenue by not imposing GST on overseas purchases.
  • Superannuation: COSBOA believes that the government has missed the opportunity to add value to the superannuation system by removing the employers from the collection process; this change could save a significant amount in administration costs by simplifying the process and putting superannuation in the PAYG system.
  • Health: There’s been no specific focus on the health of the small business person. There are approximately two million small business people who employ a further five million people, and their health has to be acknowledged.
For further analysis download the fact sheet.

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