The federal government will provide $300 million over two years to the state and territory governments to reduce red tape and “remove unnecessary restrictions on red tape”.
The Coalition committed itself to cutting federal red tape by $1 billion each year when it was elected and Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said on Tuesday the government now wants to work with state and territory governments to ease the regulatory burden on small businesses.
The funding will be provided to state and territory governments through a new body called the National Partnership on Regulatory Reform (NPRR), according to the 2017-18 federal budget.
According to the budget papers, the federal government will use the NPRR to make payments to state and territory governments under bilateral agreements that will need to be negotiated.
The payments will be used to fund “reforms that drive Australia’s economic performance and living standards, with a focus on small business regulatory reform”.
The $300 million will be spread over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years, with $125 million and $175 million allocated in each year, respectively.
The government has also allocated additional funding of $12.9 million to the National Competition Council over six years to assess the state and territories’ red tape reduction proposals and their effectiveness.
“I have asked small businesses around Australia to tell me their stories of paperwork and compliance so we can try to make it simpler,” Minister McCormack said in a statement accompanying the budget papers.
“This $300 million incentive over two years will help us work with the states and territories to make the business of doing business even simpler.”