Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Matters of Public Importance

JobKeeper Payment

5:17 pm

Photo of Gerard RennickGerard Rennick (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

We don't have enough time. I'd have to move a motion to get the rest of the MPI time to go through it all. I'll go through a couple of pages. There are 16 pages here. There has been billions and billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars of support courtesy of the taxpayer, who just happens to be small business, and courtesy of course of our children, who are going to have to pay some of this COVID debt off. We need to get business moving forward again so that we start paying the debt off and don't leave it to our children. It's the coalition government that has cut the tax rate for small and medium business from 27.5 per cent to 26 per cent. We've got a long way to go, because with holding rates we've got to lift. I'm working on that one; don't worry.

What else have we done? We've also accelerated personal income tax. That matters. I'll tell you why. The lower the income tax is for individuals when you give a pay rise, the more money they get to keep in their pocket. That is a future benefit that flows through to the economy. We've also expanded small business tax concessions. Small business now can get an immediate write-off of 150 grand. I know farmers especially like that one because they can go buy a new tractor, new plough or whatever. So that's a really good one. As well as that, we've simplified our credit framework and improved access to finance. We've been supporting small business research and development, increasing the refundable research and development tax offset to 18½ per cent and removing the annual cash refund cap for small claimants.

The other thing we've done is reform Australia's insolvency framework. We've enabled small business to get paid faster by introducing a payment times reporting framework and the procurement connected policy. That is really important because it is incredibly important that small business gets paid as quickly as possible to keep the cash rolling in. We've supported small business with tax disputes. We pushed back on the ATO. Like all bureaucrats, they tend to get a bit carried away and a bit Orwellian and dystopian in the way they like to bully small business. We've said: 'Enough's enough, boys. Just remember who's paying your wages.'

We've reduced the regulation and compliance costs. We've increased digital capability. We've invested in the mental health of business owners. We've worked to get our workplace relations settings right, which comes from these industrial relation laws, which are actually going to give more flexibility to both the employer and the employee. We've encouraged Australians to go local first. We've got to keep working on that. We need to do more work there, but we will go and do that. For this recovery scheme, we've increased the split from 50— (Time expired)


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