Turnbull talks tax cuts for businesses and individuals … Ombudsman warns of random audits … Bouris to head up SME digital taskforce

business tax cuts

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull at the 199th Birthday lunch for the Westpac Banking Group in 2016. Source: AAP/Dean Lewins.

By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reiterated his commitment to deliver tax cuts to all Australian businesses in a speech also promising tax relief for middle-income earners.

In a speech to the Business Council of Australia last night, Turnbull said if Australia failed to lower the corporate tax rate to 25%, it would become one of the highest taxing nations in the world.

“If we don’t reduce our corporate rate to 25 per cent as planned … the only advanced nations that will exceed Australia’s tax rate are Japan and Malta,” Turnbull said, reports the ABC. 

The prime minister also hinted at details of a tax cut for individuals in the near future, citing bracket creep and higher tax rates stopping Australians from getting ahead.

Ombudsman to hit 200 businesses with random audits

The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced it will be targeting 200 businesses in Melbourne’s inner east in a series of random audits.

Ombudsman’s office inspectors will be checking wage and time records for businesses in Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell, Doncaster and surrounding suburbs due to the perceived vulnerability of workers in the region, with the ombudsman saying the area contains a large number of young and culturally diverse workers.

“Around one-fifth of the workforce in Melbourne’s inner east is aged between 15-24, yet this cohort makes up almost 30 per cent of the disputes we receive from this area,” Ombudsman Natalie James said in a statement.

“Young workers can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace due to their lack of work experience and limited understanding of their workplace entitlements.”

Mark Bouris to head SME digital taskforce

The federal government has today announced a Small Business Digital Taskforce aimed at helping Aussie SMEs succeed in a digital economy through talks with businesses on how they are using digital technologies in their day to day.

The taskforce will be headed up by ex-Wizard Home Loans boss Mark Bouris, and will also include Suncorp’s Pip Marlow and assistant minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Craig Laundy.

“When a business begins to digitise and use digital tools, it opens up new opportunities to grow, diversify revenue streams, find talent, access finance, work smarter and enhance the value of the business when it is time to sell,” Bouris told Business Insider.

“If you’re not going digital, you should be.”

The taskforce is expected to release a report at the end of February 2018.

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