Small Business will be looking to the Federal Government in Budget 2019 to help to sustain the right environment for investment and jobs, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Australia’s largest Small Business network – said today.
“In the Budget and in the run-up to the Election, Small Business needs to be front and centre for all political parties,” said James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber.
Mr Pearson said Small Business needs three key policy areas to be addressed in tomorrow’s Federal Budget and the upcoming Federal Election:
- Workplace Relations – support for employers and employees to work better together
- Energy – deliver affordable, reliable energy with lower emissions
- Skills – stop the collapse in skills
The three areas are at the core of the Australian Chamber’s campaign for Small Business, coinciding with the forthcoming federal election: Small Business is a Big Deal.
Mr Pearson emphasised Skills in tomorrow’s Federal Budget.
“The signs are promising that the Government is going to act more strongly in Skills by boosting support for Vocational Education and Training (VET),” Mr Pearson said.
“This action, while long overdue, will be welcome.
“Skills development, particularly in VET, has not kept pace with economic growth and business needs.
“We have seen major investment in higher education and schools, which has not been matched by funding growth for VET.
“Small businesses employ a third of young Australians with a job and 40% of apprentices.
“Small businesses will do their share of the heavy lifting on jobs growth in the coming years and they deserve support.
Mr Pearson acknowledged the Small Business initiatives of the Federal Government in recent times, such as:
- The National Partnership on Regulatory Reform
- Increasing and extending the Instant Asset Write-Off Initiative
- Fast-tracking tax relief for Small and Medium Businesses
- Making it easier for small businesses to access finance through the $2 billion Securitisation Fund
“These policies will make a difference to the lives of Small Business owners,” Mr Pearson said.
“Our members have sent a loud and clear message that access to finance is critical to operating their businesses and investing to grow – and create more jobs. A more level playing field between the small and large banks will allow more competitive finance options for small businesses.
“Small Business is a Big Deal, and it needs a good deal from the Budget to grow and prosper.”