Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Small for the question. As always, I acknowledge Senator Small as one of those people who employ Australians. He runs a small business, Small's Bar, down in Bunbury in Western Australia. Senator Small, you're on the coalition side of politics, so you understand that small and family businesses are the backbone of the Australian community. They are the heart of our local communities. They employ nearly eight million Australians.
Currently in Australia we have more people in work than ever before. We have more people in work now than we did before COVID-19, and, of course, a lot of that has to do with the growth of small business in this country. Look at how small businesses themselves have embraced the policies that the coalition government put in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment in small business has grown by around 10 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic. That just shows you how resilient small businesses are in Australia and—in particular in Bunbury in Western Australia, where Senator Small comes from—how resilient small businesses are in rural and regional Australia.
What did the government do last night? We backed small and family businesses even further. They were already benefiting from the lowest tax rate in 50 years and record investment incentives under the coalition government. That is a stark contrast to what those on the other side offer. Under those on the other side, they were paying a tax rate of 30 per cent. They are currently paying a tax rate of 25 per cent; that is the lowest tax rate in 50 years. Last night, we invested further. In particular, we have invested a $120 tax deduction that they will get by investing in upskilling their workforce. For every $100 a small business spends on training their employees, they will get a $120 tax deduction back. (Time expired)