Is Labor really waging a “war on business” this election?

Scott Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison has declared Labor is waging a “war on business”, but the small business community says it wants to focus on the policy, not political point scoring.

The Coalition has not backed down from its rhetoric, despite the war analogy being labelled insensitive by the national president of the Vietnam Veterans Association, given it was made on the same day as a repatriation ceremony for Australians killed during the Vietnam War.

Turnbull has stood by his Treasurer’s comments, saying the first casualty of Bill Shorten’s “war on business” will be Australian jobs, according to the ABC.

The Liberals have been trumpeting their policy to eventually reduce the company tax rate to 25% for all businesses over the next 10 years.

However, Labor is also backing a 5% business tax cut, but only for companies turning over less than $2 million.

What do small business leaders think of Morrison’s comments?

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business, says the word “war” is unhelpful in this instance.

“That’s political talk and there’s obviously an election on,” Strong says.

“I don’t think there’s a war. If there is a war, it’s between Labor and the Liberals and we [the the small business community] don’t want to be collateral damage in that.”

However, Strong points out Labor could be doing more for small businesses.

“The story they’re pushing on the tax breaks is the wrong story,” he says.

“Nobody is going to put money in their [own] pocket as a result of the [company] tax break. What happens is companies get a chance to reinvest into growth opportunities. That’s why we think they should support the tax breaks, and Bill Shorten should certainly support the lifting of the threshold to $10 million.”

Australian Small business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell also shied away from using the word “war”, however, did point out the small businesses she’s spoken to would like Labor to lift the $2 million threshold for both tax purposes and the instant asset write-off scheme if Bill Shorten and his party do form government after July 2.

“We think it would be very good if the Labor party would take a look at that,” Carnell told SmartCompany.

“It’s something small to medium business really needs.”


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Michael Kaff
5 years ago

I wish they would focus on the issues and not on each other. I know they looove to play politics and the election result is at stake, but if they truly want to govern they need to show leadership by focussing on what really matters…and that’s the electorate, NOT each other. Michael Kaff (Independent Senate Candidate for Queensland and Gold Coast –

5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Kaff

Too true Michael, but we have in politics now, what we “the people” created… It forces all Pollies to have to play the stupid game they do. I don’t want another hung parliament, nor do I want another few years of a socialist government like we had with Gillard – the senate comprised of people who got in on a handful of votes and sat representing the majority, they were feral and I support the DD election – however, we may end up in the same stupid place we were in before this damn election unfortunately. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Australia is now run by the Y-Gen who have grown up, the same generation that wanted everything for nothing and grew up with everything. Need to wait another generation before common sense prevails in my opinion.

Michael Kaff
5 years ago
Reply to  WallyS

As John Laws? famously said, common sense isn’t all that common WallyS. I get frustrated, like so many others, that some obvious solutions and actions are not taken, either because the pollies don’t think of them or they are “influenced” into alternatives by internal or external parties. Not having allegiances with any “parties” I can assure you that I would vote for what is right and not because I have an ulterior motive. I’ve always been that way and because of that, I can sleep well at night.

5 years ago

Aussies spend way too much time agitating and discombobulate on what “words” used are correct or otherwise, we are the most sensitive, politically correct nation in the world in my opinion. Anyway, Labor is actually waging war on business, how can any business owner ever forget what they did when last in power? How many businesses fell and how much was lost in tax revenue through the downfall of these businesses?

While the coalition is likely exaggerating Labor’s attack on business, let’s not forget that Labor is in fact creating a massive class war while slamming businesses. Most small business owners are not wealthy, take home less than their staff, pour any excess funds back into the business, put up with corrupt unions, have to deal with increased and frequent regulation which changes the goal posts at every turn, and any government assistance obtained is hard won to say the least. Shorten and his union ties is not a friend to businesses, just look at Andrews in VIC – we’ll likely be a Marxist or communist country in the 1st 100 days if Labor actually win the election.