Kate Carnell’s take on the 2017 Federal Budget

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The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) is delighted with the extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme announced in 2017’s Budget and a range of other pro-small business initiatives.

ASBFEO Kate Carnell also welcomed moves to hold banks to account and provide better access to justice for small business.

She said the extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme from 1 July this year is a positive move for small businesses, which are defined as having a turnover of up to $10 million a year.

The instant asset write-off program allows small business to immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000 instead of claiming deductions over a number of years. It is on a per asset basis allowing multiple claims for assets costing less than $20,000 to be deducted.

Do you feel as though you are being supported as an Australian small business?

Ms Carnell said: “We would have liked a lift in the $20,000 threshold for the instant asset write-off because for some industries, like farming, the $20,000 threshold is too low to enable them to purchase equipment.”

She said there were other Budget announcements that would result in greater accountability and transparency for banks’ dealings with small businesses.

Ms Carnell welcomed the Government lifting the threshold for small business loans and recommends that it be set at $5 million for financial services external dispute resolution to bring it into line with ASBFEO’s definition of a small business loan – significantly higher than the banks’ limited definition of loans of up to $3 million.

Ms Carnell said that there was disappointment that the Government had not taken the opportunity to set an example with faster payment times to suppliers by adopting a 15 business day payment time requiring head contractors to adopt the payment time through its supply chains because it would have a significant impact on cash flow and it has been shown to be beneficial overseas.

Will the Budget allowances for small business be enough?

The Government also has not adopted ASBFEO’s call for a National Payment Transparency Register to independently monitor payment terms and practices following the ASBFEO’s recent Inquiry into Payment Times and Practices, which found widespread evidence of small business being squeezed by multinationals’ extended and late payment practices.

Ms Carnell said: “We will continue to push on this and talk further with the Government on the benefits of businesses gaining the economic benefits of being paid faster which frees-up cash flow and stimulates jobs, investment and growth.”

Ms Carnell also welcomed other measures that would require banks to be more accountable and transparent in their dealings with small business and open up competition in alternative sources of finance.

What are your thoughts on how the 2017 Budget will impact your small business? Let us know by commenting below!

Kate Carnell will be one of the small business speaker at the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA) Summit at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast on the 30th and 31st of May 2017.

The Summit is designed to bring together small business owners with key government, regulatory, association bodies and other SMEs and this year will play host to the drafting of a history-making national Charter for Small Business. The Charter aims to bring together the disparate laws and legislations affecting SMEs and simplify things to let SMEs to just get on with business.

This will be an Australian-first for small business and one that has the right combination of ‘power players’ onsite (ACCC, ATO, ACTU, State Government, the Australian Small Business, the Family Enterprise Ombudsman and more) but more importantly it will be something actual SMEs will have input into, that will also be ratified by the 100,000-strong member base of the SBAA. To find out more click here

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How to take advantage of Federal Budget 2017

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