Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off for Small Business Entities) Bill 2019; Second Reading

4:42 pm

Photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams (NSW, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

I just want to make a few comments on this very good piece of legislation. It's amazing that Senator Cameron says he opposes anticompetitive behaviour. We brought in the effects test—the amendment to section 46. Where were Labor? They were over there opposing the effects test. They wanted to protect big business so they could crush little business. Quite ironic, isn't it? We are the government for lower taxes, especially for small business, and this is another good policy brought in last night: the addition to the instant write-offs.

When it first came in, I spoke to businesses in Inverell like chainsaw outlets, retailers and mower centres about how it stimulated their business when people would come in and say, 'I can buy a chainsaw, a four-wheeled motorbike, an ATV or even a side-by-side and write it off straightaway.' It's not happening as much now, because of the drought. Unfortunately that has cost a lot of money in regional Australia. Hopefully, that will change soon. But it's a case where it stimulates people to spend money and it keeps small businesses going. We're glad to see that the criteria has been changed—up to $30,000—and that it's no longer just for businesses with up to $10 million in turnover but for those with up to $50 million turnover. That is an increase in the instant write-off of a purchase of capital equipment, from computers to heaters to air conditioners to machinery—you name it. That stimulates activity, keeps money going around the community and keeps people in jobs. It's a good policy and I commend Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for bringing it in last night.

It's also good to see—I'll make this comment while I'm here—the budget finally into the black print at the bottom. I remember back in 2012 we had a treasurer called Mr Wayne Swan. People would remember him. Four budget surpluses he promised—four! How many did he deliver? Zero. None. When it comes to a black-print budget surplus, it is something that is rarely seen in my life. Whether state government or federal government, when Labor is there, the budget only goes in red print. I think it was in 1989 the last time we saw a budget surplus from a Labor government—30 years ago. And Labor criticise our budget, our good spending, curtailing and getting the budget back to the black so we can stop mortgaging our children's futures away and make them pay our standard of living with interest. It is so wrong. I commend the Treasurer for a good budget last night and finally an end to the borrowing. I hope it lasts. I really do. This bill is another incentive for small businesses to spend to create economic activity, to keep the money turning around and to keep people in their jobs.

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