House debates

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Economy

2:36 pm

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Will the minister please outline to the House how the Morrison government is supporting small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, including through extending the instant asset write-off scheme?

Mr Albanese interjecting

Mr Morrison interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Both the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister might cease their conversation.

Mr Albanese interjecting

Mr Morrison interjecting

The Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister! I'm not going to call the minister to answer the question until the conversation stops. The minister has the call.

2:37 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the member for her question. I know that she, like all members of the government, is 100 per cent committed to supporting our small and family businesses, particularly as the economy reopens and the COVID-19 health restrictions are being eased. The government has charted a strong path to ensure that Australia is leading the world on health and economic recovery, and we know that our small businesses are absolutely central to that. Because this government understands small businesses and the importance of improving cash flow, in March we increased the instant asset write-off from $30,000 to $150,000 and lifted the turnover threshold from $50 million to $500 million. We recognise that there is a very long road ahead of us to recovery, and this week we have extended the date for the instant asset write-off from 30 June to 31 December this year.

Our government is all about backing businesses to back themselves—encouraging resilience, investment and growth—and that's exactly what the instant asset write-off does. Every year, over 300,000 small businesses use the instant asset write-off to invest in their businesses. It is actually one of the most practical and well-used reforms that we have introduced. It supports our businesses to be able to reinvest in their own businesses, so it enables them to do things such as invest in tractors, vans, other equipment and machinery—tools that are essential to the work that they need to do—to help their businesses to grow and expand. Ultimately, that is going to lead to the retention of jobs and the creation of jobs.

The extension that we have announced allows businesses some additional time where there have been delays due to supply chain interruptions. That's really important because, as I've said, we know that there is a long road through to recovery. We understand that there are many businesses that need support, so what we have done with the instant asset write-off is specifically target it to help those small businesses. As we work towards a strong economic recovery, which is exactly what this government is doing—and Australia clearly continues to lead the world in this—Australian small and family businesses can be absolutely assured that the Morrison government is backing them the whole way.