Fast Lane: Politicians face the electoral music as SMEs hear silence on policy

Yet another politician has jumped on the small business bandwagon with country singer turned Bob Katter’s Senate candidate, James Blundell, signalling his allegiance to SMEs.

Blundell says small business has suffered under a Labour government and claims he wants to fight to lower small business penalty rates.

It’s an admirable sentiment, but proclamations like this are pretty plentiful at the moment from politicians.

The Coalition has made a host of different small business announcements, including Tony Abbott’s promise to double small business growth rates if elected.

The Coalition’s shadow small business spokesperson, Bruce Billson, is passionate about small business but there’s still not much detail on how doubling small business growth is actually going to happen or be paid for.

The Labor Party is even worse, with a complete dearth of small business policy and a Small Business Minister who doesn’t seem to have any idea what a small business is.

In case you blinked and missed him, our sixth small business minister under the current government is Gary Gray and he is also the minister for resources and energy along with tourism.

These demanding portfolios don’t seem to leave Gray much time to think or talk about small business at all.

There certainly wasn’t any talk of small business at the most recent budget, which completely excluded the sector besides rehashing a few already existing policies.

It’s perhaps not surprising that all parties are trying to keep some policy powder dry before the election.

But it’s now mid-June, and for small business to be able to shape and participate in a policy debate we need more than snappy sound grabs.


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