The opposition has slammed Treasurer Wayne Swan for providing no credible path back to surplus and for failing to help small business in this year’s budget.
Opposition small business spokesperson Bruce Billson told SmartCompany there was nothing in last night’s budget which was the game changer and the confidence builder the small business community was looking for.
Instead, he dubs the budget “quite the opposite”.
Billson points to an increase in unemployment and a decrease in economic growth.
“Rather than the kick-start small business was hoping for, it looks like they will get more kicks from the Tax Office, as more money is shovelled into the Tax Office to go after small business as soft targets for extra revenue.
“There’s more money for data matching and for going after trusts,” he says.
Billson say he understands the small business community is “completely underwhelmed” by the budget.
“Once again the government has failed to recognise that small business is the driver of jobs and growth in a post-mining boom economy,” he says.
“It’s hardly the recipe that’s needed at the moment to put the business back into small business.”
In his reply to the budget, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said it confirmed Labor’s financial and budget management is in complete chaos.
“Budget 2013 delivers more debt, more deficits, more taxes, more broken promises and more uncertainty from an incompetent Labor government that can’t be trusted,” he said.
Hockey claimed the budget which was supposed to be about “jobs and growth”, instead delivered higher unemployment, up to 5.75%, and lower growth, down to 2.75%.
He said Labor’s planned return to surplus was not credible and presented a potential black hole in future budgets.
“The claim of surpluses in the two out-years relies on virtually no further deterioration in the terms of trade in the next two years,” Hockey said.
“This is a heroic assumption and puts at risk the projected small surpluses in the two out-years. It assumes the terms of trade will remain far higher than in any year of the previous Coalition government.”
Hockey said the Coalition provided a viable alternative to build a strong and prosperous economy.
“Only the coalition has the plan, experience and discipline to return the budget to sustainable surpluses, reduce debt and provide real support to Australian families to help them get ahead again,” he said.