Senate debates

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Questions without Notice


2:46 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator O'Sullivan for his question. Mr President, you'd be aware that this week's budget is all about jobs—backing those Australians who are in jobs and ensuring that they stay in those jobs and, obviously, getting as many Australians back into work as we can. A fundamental part of that plan is backing our small and family businesses every step of the way. They are the engine room of the Australian economy in so many different ways. They're major drivers of employment—in fact, employing over six million Australians—and they contribute around $418 billion to our national economy. The CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia, Peter Strong, has welcomed budget 2020 as providing great things in it for small business people.

In terms of what we're doing for small businesses across Australia, we are, of course, allowing them to invest in themselves—we're supercharging the instant asset write-off by delivering temporary full expensing, allowing businesses to write off the full cost of eligible depreciable assets until 30 June 2020. We understand that so many businesses have done it tough as a result of COVID-19 and they need that important cash flow, so we're providing $4.9 billion in tax relief through temporary loss carry-back. This is going to allow businesses impacted by COVID-19 to write off their bad years against their previous good year. We're also expanding access to small business tax concessions. We're providing $105 million in tax relief to an additional 20,000 businesses and their employees. Importantly, in the skills space, we're removing costly barriers for businesses to train their employees by exempting employer provided retraining from fringe benefits tax. This will allow small businesses to capitalise on our $7 billion skills investment. Small and family businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy and, in budget 2020, we are backing them every step of the way.


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