15 May 2017
Transcript - #2017028, 2017

Interview with Matt Tukaki, 2GB

Subjects: Queensland Small Business Week, Budget 2017-18

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible] … regional Queensland today?

MCCORMACK:

I’m just passing through Llew O’Brien’s electorate at the moment, Maryborough, and I’m on my way to talk small business with Andrew Wallace - and more importantly his constituents - in Caloundra. It’s Queensland Small Business Week, so it’s appropriate that I’m up here in Queensland, in regional Queensland, talking to as many business owners’ as possible and more importantly listening to what they have to say.

JOURNALIST:

It’s a really good thing because often we get bogged down in a Sydney or Melbourne city mindset but the truth is – and this is from one of the surveys I’ve been reading throughout the day – what a lot of older Australians, those in the 50 plus category are saying to us is ‘I actually do want to consider starting a small business’, or ‘I do want to start franchising something out’. This is a big area of focus for the Government, right?

MCCORMACK:

It is. And certainly in the regions there’s never been a better time to start a small business. As the first regional Small Business Minister, I get that. I understand what it’s like to live and work in the regions. There is a great opportunity at the moment and not just in agriculture. I know those trade arrangements that we’ve brokered with South Korea, with China and with Japan are opening up wonderful opportunities for small businesses right across regional Australia and part of my focus as well is to talk about that. That’s why it’s good to have Keith Pitt as a colleague because he’s certainly out there with Steve Ciobo talking up those trade opportunities as well.

JOURNALIST:

Absolutely. Now let’s turn our attention to some of the things that were in the Budget last week. There have been some more wins for small business. We’re seeing an extension of the instant asset write off, correct?

MCCORMACK:

By 12 months. I certainly listened to what small business owners’ and operators across Australia were telling me. They wanted that extended, I told the Treasurer that and Scott Morrison listened. That was very much front and centre of the Budget so I was really, really pleased. The Budget of course was brought down on the very day where we enshrined into law the redefinition of a small business from $2 million turnover to $10 million turnover. I understand, as do all the members of the Coalition, that just because you might be turning over $5.5 million, it doesn’t mean to say that you’re profiting by that margin. Labor doesn’t understand that, but what would you expect from Labor. Bill Shorten wants to turn those provisions back. He wants to make sure that small business gets punished by a higher tax regime. He wants to turn back those small business instant asset write offs and make the definition of a small business $2 million turnover again. We understand small business and that’s why we’re extending that by 12 months. It’s a really good thing. Certainly, Kate in Warner’s Fine Jewellery this morning in Bundaberg who’s already taking advantage of that instant asset write off, she was delighted. She will now utilise that for another 12 months.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]

MCCORMACK:

What a success story. What an absolute success story.

JOURNALIST:

Let’s turn your attention to the reduction of red tape. We’ve been big on our show about needing to get rid of red tape, you guys also made an announcement about this as well.

MCCORMACK:

Yes. And certainly with the Single Touch Payroll, we’re also simplifying the BAS from seven elements to three; GST on sales and purchases and total sales from 1 July this year. We’re getting on with the business of cutting through red tape. But there’s $300 million on the table for those states to incentivise them to see what they can do in conjunction with us to eliminate some of the red tape that is burdening business, that is bureaucracy gone mad. We’ve lifted already $5.8 billion worth of red tape annually from the load of small business owners’ and operators. I understand what it’s like to work all day, slaving hard and paying rent, paying power bills, all the while knowing that you have to go home then and after a few domestic chores get back into the paperwork. We want to lift that burden from small business now and we’re incentivising the states now with $300 million on the table. I look forward to very soon talking to my State small business ministerial counterparts to see how they can take advantage of that. I’ve written to them to say that this is on the table, what can you do about cutting through the red tape in a State - Federal way? In some collaboration there - I think it is important. I know that small business owners’ and operators would be delighted to know that we’re doing this, $300 million on the table – a really good programme.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible] Thank you Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, on a road trip across Queensland this week, thanks for joining us.

MCCORMACK:

Any time Matt. Thanks for your encouragement, thanks for your positivity.