Small Business Minister Bruce Billson is working quickly to make the government’s $5.5 billion small business package a reality for SMEs, introducing legislation in the House of Representatives this morning for the small business tax cut and a range of accelerated depreciation measures, including the $20,000 asset write-off scheme.
Speaking to SmartCompany after introducing the legislation to the Parliament this morning, Billson says he is now calling on the federal opposition to “get behind” the measures and ensure their quick passage into law.
The legislation relates to the 1.5% cut in company tax for incorporated businesses. Legislation has also been introduced for the $20,000 asset write-off scheme and the government’s package of asset depreciation measures for farmers, which Billson said yesterday would be fast-tracked.
Billson says there has been some anxiety among accountants as to when the $20,000 write-off scheme would come into effect and he hopes the Labor Party does not “muck around with the measure”.
He says the opposition had been “unhelpful and quite critical” in the lead up to the budget but it is now “time for Labor to get behind this and ensure early, certain and safe passage” through both houses of Parliament.
The opposition spokesperson for small business, Bernie Ripoll, told SmartCompany the day after the budget Labor would look at the detail of the measures but would “obviously welcome any positive news for small business from the budget”.
Billson is also expecting the Greens to support the legislation, saying he has not received any formal advice that any party will oppose the measures.
“I’m expecting swift passage,” he says.
“We are putting our shoulder to the wheel.”
Billson says the remaining parts of the government’s small business budget package will also require legislation, which will be introduced in the next two weeks.
“We’re moving forward in a sure-footed and expeditious manner,” he says.