As the Coalition gets set to commence its third term in government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his new cabinet which includes a record, seven women.
Amongst those gaining a spot on the frontbench are Bridget McKenzie as the first female leader of the Agriculture portfolio, Sussan Ley, who returns to cabinet taking up a new slot as the Minister for Environment and Michaelia Cash who retains her portfolio as the Minister for Small and Family Business whilst adding another notch to her belt with the additional role of Minister for Employment.
Small business leaders and advocates have welcomed Cash retaining her position as Minister for Small and Family Business, with MYOB CEO Tim Reed suggesting Cash has a strong record of support for small business owners.
“From increasing the instant asset-write off to $25,000; providing tax cuts to businesses with a turnover less than $50 million from 30 per cent to 25 per cent; establishment of the $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund and shining a light on the issue of mental health of small business owners, Minister Cash has been a strong passionate advocate for our sector;” said Reed.
Reed said MYOB’s recent research had revealed small business owners want the government to take action on tax and a slew of other issues. He welcomed working with Minister Cash on achieving a better deal for the nation’s SMBs. The CEO also hoped the new appointment of Stuart Roberts as Minister for Government Services will pave the way for less red tape for small business owners accessing government services.
“They want the government to simplify – removing red tape, streamlining the BAS and GST reporting processes and increasing their digital service offering.
“It is to this end that we welcome the Prime Minister’s appointment of Stuart Robert as the Minister for Government Services with a particular focus on Government service delivery and making best use of technology and digital applications,” Reed said.
In the lead up to the election, the Morrison government pledged some $525 million dollars to vocational training. The plan: to incentivise an additional 80,000 new apprenticeship roles in areas perceived as having a skills shortage. Then just a week out from Aussies taking to the polls, Morrison also promised to create 250,000 new small businesses in the next five years and establish the Australian Business Growth Fund.
It will now be up to Cash to make good on the promises.
Peter Strong CEO of Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) said the return of Michaelia Cash as the Minister for Small and Family Business should bode well for business owners.
“We are really pleased to see continuity with the reappointment of Michaelia Cash. We can continue with a focus on getting skills into the workforce and also on the well being of the self-employed,” said Strong.
Similarly, the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) has welcomed the re-appointment of Cash. With close to 600,000 franchises in operation in Australia, many of them small businesses, FCA CEO Mary Aldred said it was critical Cash continue with reforms for small business.
“Importantly, Minister Cash will be able to continue with preparing the Federal Government’s response to the recommendations presented by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Franchising,” said Aldred.
“The critical priorities ahead for small business have to include helping to address rising energy costs, a complex and punishing industrial relations framework, red tape and unfair retail tenancy leasing arrangements,” Aldred concluded.