Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Cash, who recently visited a number of small businesses in Launceston with our Liberal candidate in Bass, Bridget Archer, and me. How would the Liberal-National government's budget benefit our nation's 3.3 million small and family businesses and their 5.7 million employees?
I thank Senator Askew for the question. I acknowledge that it is her first question and congratulate her on that. Colleagues, as we know, in last night's budget the Treasurer yet again overwhelmingly affirmed the coalition's commitment to small and family businesses in Australia. Why? Because we know that small and family businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy. When small and family businesses in Australia grow, they create more jobs for Australians. Last night was a vote of confidence in small and family businesses across Australia. In particular, as you are aware, we increased the instant asset write-off from $25,000 to $30,000 and we extended it out to 30 June 2020.
Colleagues, because of the strong economy that we have put in place, we were also able to increase the threshold, from businesses with an annual turnover of $10 million or less to medium-sized businesses—we've expanded it to medium-sized businesses—with an annual turnover of $50 million or less. That is what you get when you put in place a strong economy: you can give back in particular to small and medium businesses in Australia. That policy alone will benefit around 3.4 million businesses, employing around 7.7 million workers. Of course, this comes on top of our tax cuts for small businesses, which we're able to fast-track, again, because of the policies that we have put in place that have given us a strong economy. These tax cuts will see small and medium businesses in Australia paying 25 per cent by 2122. Again, if you back small and medium business, you create jobs for Australians.
As we all know, when small and family businesses in Australia prosper and grow, they create more jobs for Australians. When we were elected to office in 2013, we said to the Australian people that we would put in place the economic framework so that businesses in Australia could create jobs. That is exactly what we did. We said we would create a million jobs within five years, and we did that ahead of time. Under the coalition government, the Liberal-National government, the economy has created almost 1.3 million jobs. We have now been able to make another promise: if we are re-elected, we intend on ensuring that we put in place the right policies so that businesses out there can prosper and grow to create a further 1.25 million jobs. Last night's budget was the next stage of the Morrison government's economic plan, which we intend to deliver for the betterment of Australians.
Again, a big feature of last night's budget was the more than half a billion dollars of investment in skills for today and for tomorrow. We understand that businesses need employees with the right skills. One of the big announcements in last night's budget was that we will invest in 80,000 apprentices. That's right, colleagues. That's 80,000 apprentices across Australia in areas of skills need. We want to put in place the right policies, look at where the skills are required and ensure that businesses—in particular, small and family businesses—have access to the skill requirements that they need. As part of our investment, in excess of half a billion dollars, we're also going to ensure that those who are recently unemployed do have access to the foundational skills that they need to ensure that they are able to fully participate in the workplace.