As the minister for small business, I am excited about the reforms the federal government is pursuing to help small business grow and create more jobs.
The Coalition Government wants to see small businesses thrive, to ensure Australians can realise their dreams. We want small businesses to be able to create wealth for themselves, for their families and for our nation.
Some of our recent reforms have included changes to Pay As You Go tax thresholds, removing almost 450,000 small businesses from the system and saving small business around $67 million each year in red tape.
In May this year, we also reduced the small business company tax rate by 1.5 per cent and introduced an immediate tax deduction for small businesses for every eligible asset costing less than $20,000 purchased until the end of June 2017.
We are also protecting small businesses from unfair contract terms, ensuring that small business owners have more time and more resources to invest in their business’ success, instead of navigating a confusing maze of standard form contract terms.
In addition to these measures, the government is pleased that the Labor Party eventually decided to support the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), despite their initial objection to this landmark agreement. The ChAFTA not only provides new and exciting opportunities for small businesses, but is critical to enable their expansion and to find new customers.
China is Australia’s largest trading partner and with its middle class expected to grow to around 500 million over the next decade, we are making it easier for our local businesses to access this expanding market.
The growing middle class will increase the demand for high-quality Australian products and services.
Australia is able to not only provide natural resources needed to develop the Chinese economy, but also food supplies and highly valued services, such as education.
The preferential trading opportunities offered by the ChAFTA are delivered by means of reduced tariffs and regulations for Australian goods and services entering China. Australian goods exported to China are currently subject to tariffs of up to 40 per cent.
Once ChAFTA is fully implemented, 95 per cent of goods will be duty-free.
Many small businesses will benefit substantially from this agreement. Take, for example, the Old Colonial Cookie Company, which makes Butterfinger biscuits. This company which recently commenced exporting its biscuits to China should be a real beneficiary of the ChAFTA’s reduced tariffs.
These agreements are a major part of the Coalition government’s economic agenda which seeks to boost economic growth and create new jobs. They are an investment in Australian jobs, our future and the region, and will be a boon for small businesses across Australia.
The future of small business is bright and with free trade agreements now signed with Korea, Japan, and China there are incredible opportunities to be realised.
Kelly is the minister for small business and assistant treasurer in the Turnbull government. Kelly is the founder and chairman of the parliamentary friends of women in science, maths and engineering. In addition, Kelly serves as an ovarian cancer ambassador, patron of the Stonnington City Brass and patron of the East Malvern Junior Girls Football Team.