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Penalty rates, business tax breaks circled as Labor lays out its budget plans

05 April 2019 1 minute readShare
Bill Shorten

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has outlined his plans for small business funding in his budget reply speech, circling tax cuts, faster internet and incentives as priorities.

Following a similar model to the instant asset write-off, which was passed yesterday, Mr Shorten announced a Labor government would provide tax breaks for certain investments of all Australian-based businesses.

“We backed a tax cut for small and medium businesses and we will provide an extra 20 per cent tax break for every business that invests in productivity-boosting equipment above $20,000, whether that’s a big manufacturer buying new technology or a tradie getting a new ute,” Mr Shorten said.

Mr Shorten also pledged to restore penalty rates, as a way to boost wages growth, and stimulate consumer spending and confidence.

“If we win the election, we’ll legislate to restore the arbitrary cuts to Sunday and public penalty rates in our first 100 days,” Mr Shorten said.

“Of course, we will consult with employers and the independent umpire, and of course, we will take into account the capacity of business and the economy to sustain the wages growth. But I don’t want any Australian adult who works full-time to be trapped in poverty. A sensible, overdue plan to achieve moderate but meaningful improvement in wages is what we offer Australians,” he said.

Sham contracts and dodgy labour hire arrangements are also in Labor’s sights, and Mr Shorten signalled a compliance crackdown in this area.

Although he didn’t detail his policy plans, Mr Shorten also circled investment in the NBN as a focus to boost the productivity of small business.

Apprenticeships will also get a boost under Labor, and the businesses who support them will be incentivised to support young talent.

“We will help train 150,000 apprentices for the jobs of the future and we’ll provide additional support for the businesses who take them on, both young people and mature-age workers looking to retrain and to learn new skills,” Mr Shorten said.

“And we will also create an apprentice advocate, because the tragic death of an 18-year-old apprentice on the Macquarie Park site last week reminds us that we’ve got to protect our apprentices and make sure they come home safe, just like everybody else,” he said.

Penalty rates, business tax breaks circled as Labor lays out its budget plans
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