Budget a “fizzer” for SMEs

Tax cuts loom large in post Budget 2018 discussion, but the backbone of the Australian economy, small business, didn’t make the cut.

There isn’t much in the 2018 budget to excite SMEs. A continuation of tax cuts from previous years just doesn’t cut it. The Budget delivered no new policies to promote growth, make it easier for small business to operate, or to modernise the workplace.

The Government are spectating as technology disrupts standard concepts of employment. They seem to be waiting for change to happen rather than encouraging it, leaving Australian business at risk of being tied to a regulatory environment with stagnated growth and no real global impact.

Also missing in Budget 2018 was the customary rhetoric of reducing red tape. We have significant consultations with small businesses and the overwhelming view is the legislation is far too complicated for the majority of Australian businesses with less than 20 employees and no expert HR or legal departments.

Our views are that Government should make practical and realistic reforms to make it simpler for businesses to do the right thing and build their confidence to employ – which is what the economy needs.

In addition, minimum wages need to be addressed. Since small businesses employ majority of the Australian workforce and generate a fifth of our GDP, it is vital that they are provided with sufficient support to remain profitable whilst spurring growth.

On behalf of 18,000 SMEs, I am calling for less talk and more action. It is time for Government to start acting and stop spectating – if the Government neglects modernising policies for the workplace, they’re not motivating people to innovate or grow.

If we want to create businesses of global scale, with global reach to solve global problems, we need to create much stronger policies to support Australian SMEs.

This Budget shows how much small business is talked about but not appropriately backed up. We need more action, and action means making it easier for small business to operate and innovate.

Ed Mallett, Managing Director, Employsure