House debates

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Questions without Notice


2:29 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Women and Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations. Will the minister update the House on how a strong economy enables the government to provide support for women in family and small business to succeed? How would a weaker economy, through higher taxes, put this support at risk?

2:30 pm

Photo of Kelly O'DwyerKelly O'Dwyer (Higgins, Liberal Party, Minister for Jobs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question, and she, like every member on this side of the chamber, understands how vital it is that we support small and family-sized businesses, because they employ more than seven million Australians. She understands that a third of all small business operators are, in fact, women. We want to see even more women get into small and family-sized businesses, so we are supporting them to be able to do just that.

We know that when women do well their families do well and our economy and our nation prosper. That is why we delivered the Women's Economic Security Statement. It is the very first time that any government has delivered an economic security statement helping women to be able to build their financial security.

It is exactly why we are helping women who are running small and family-sized businesses with changes to our parental leave payment. We are changing it so that it is a lot more flexible, because we know that the current system is far too rigid. We know that there are many small and family-sized business operators that simply cannot spend 18 weeks away from their business, so we've done something about it.

We've heard from people like Tess McCabe, a small business owner, who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald. She said that she was so pleased when she heard the news about the government's announcement that she cried. She said:

It was exactly what self employed people want, the choice to take those blocks of paid parental leave … in a way that suits them.

That is what we are about. We are about giving people flexibility and choice. We are not about raising their taxes, which is exactly what those opposite would do. For somebody like Tess McCabe, who has a small or family business, we're doing the opposite. We're cutting her taxes, because anybody who has a business with a turnover of less than $50 million, under our government, has seen the company tax rate go down from 30c in the dollar to 25c in the dollar with our legislated plan—because, unlike those opposite, we know how to manage a budget. We know it is important that you don't raise taxes on people's businesses, on their investments, on their retirement savings, on their homes and on their superannuation. That doesn't help small and family-sized businesses. It certainly doesn't help them when you've got retirees being slugged with a mega retiree tax.

We know that the $200 billion worth of new or increased taxes that those opposite would impose would hurt small and family-sized businesses. We want to help them, not hurt them, which is why we say: don't vote Labor.