Council of Small Business Scores Coalition and Labor Policies

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia

The Council of Small Business Organisations has released a comparison table of the Coalition and Labor’s small business policies today ahead of this weekend’s federal election.

COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said “The policy comparison table allows small business owners and advocates to see the positions of the major parties along with those of COSBOA side by side so they can make up their own minds about who best represents their interests.”

“The major issues facing small business owners right now are ongoing worker shortages, the rising cost of doing business, and the complexity of complying with the industrial relations system. They want to know what the major parties plan to do to address these three key problems.”

“To address workforce shortages, we lay out what the Coalition and Labor plan to do regarding skilled migration and VET reform. Both the Coalition and Labor scored an average of 6.5/10 in this area, with the Coalition slightly ahead on skilled migration and Labor slightly ahead on VET reform.”

“Reforms we’d like to see but weren’t promised by either of the parties are temporarily removing the cap on working hours for visa holders, removing barriers to pensioners and welfare recipients entering the workforce, and better consultation with industry associations to keep the skills shortage list up-to-date.”

“For the cost of doing business, we’ve looked at what the parties have said they will do about supply chain pressures, inflation, energy prices, and merchant fees. Both parties perform better here, with the Coalition slightly in front with an average of 8/10 compared to Labor’s 7.7/10. We rated the Coalition higher on managing supply chain pressures and energy prices, but Labor higher on reducing merchant fees based on its promise to implement least cost routing.”

“Industrial relations is traditionally a heated topic. The Coalition came out stronger with a 7/10 based on its commitment to re-visit the reforms in 2021’s IR Omnibus Bill, but Labor’s goal of simplicity and acknowledgement of the need to bring all sides together is still commendable, earning it a 5.5/10. Both sides support the criminalisation of wage theft, an anticompetitive practice that COSBOA condemns.”

“The full comparison table also examines other issues such as competition policy, better regulation and tax reform, digitisation, disaster preparedness, mental health support, and procurement.”

Ms Boyd concluded “We’re grateful to have received some good bi-partisan support on many small business issues and we know that Australia will be in good hands regardless of whether our government is blue or red after Saturday night.”

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