House debates

Monday, 20 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:46 pm

Photo of Trent ZimmermanTrent Zimmerman (North Sydney, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation. Will the minister update the House on how the government's economic policies are benefiting small and family businesses? How would different approaches hurt families and businesses?

Photo of Craig LaundyCraig Laundy (Reid, Liberal Party, Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for North Sydney for his question. I note that recently I was in Chatsworth in his electorate. I was in a room full of small and family business operators, listening to their concerns and receiving their feedback and thanks for the fact that the Turnbull coalition government places this most important of sectors—small and family business, which is responsible for employing up to 60 per cent of the private sector in this economy—at the centre of everything that it does—unlike those opposite.

I note that on the last day before the winter recess the Leader of the Opposition made the member for McMahon the shadow minister for small and family businesses. The very next day the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer announced that a Shorten Labor government, if elected, would let tax rates be 10 per cent higher than have already been legislated under the enterprise tax plan. Tax rates in this country for small and family businesses are on their way to 25 per cent. If those opposite were elected, they would be stuck at 27½ per cent—some 10 per cent higher.

It's not just tax policy that is the Leader of the Opposition's centrepiece of war against this most vital sector. It is higher taxes, high power prices and, as I spoke about last week, the abolition of the Building and Construction Commission, looking after some 367,000 small and family businesses operating in the construction sector. What do those opposite and the Leader of the Opposition want to do? Because of his secret deal with the CFMEU, they want to take the cop off the beat and they want to bring back the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, putting some 39,000 small and family business transport operators out of work immediately.

In the last 12 months of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd debacle we had Labor policies that were responsible for 61,000 small and family businesses in this country disappearing. In the six years when Labor were last in power some 520,000 jobs in small and family business land disappeared. In the last 12 months, under the Turnbull coalition government and their sensible economic management, we have had a net increase in the number of small family businesses operating of 65,000—an increase in the employment in this sector of 66,000 people just in small business land. The small and family business operators in this country can be very clear on one thing: whether it is the Leader of the Opposition or the shadow minister for small and family business, who is the shadow Treasurer, with friends like them they don't need enemies.