Bowen calls Abbott’s small business claims “hypocrisy and nonsense”

The government’s newly appointed small business minister, Chris Bowen, has hit back at claims made by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott that small business would have an easier time under a Coalition government.


Speaking at the launch of a Google training program for small business yesterday, Bowen dismissed the claim as “complete and errant hypocrisy”.


“The Liberal Party which will reverse our small business tax cuts, the instant asset write-off and our loss carry-back policies, which are effectively tax cuts for small business, which Tony Abbott will rip up,” says Bowen.


“He cannot say, ‘We are a better party for small business but, by the way, we will take your Labor tax cuts away’. Small business is too smart for that.”


Bowen says if Abbott really supports small business he should keep the small business tax cuts.


“Anything other than that is just hypocrisy and nonsense,” he says.


With only a limited amount of time until the election, SmartCompany asked Bowen whether the government will announce any new small business polices but the minister is giving nothing away.


“You will have to watch this space won’t you,” he says.


Bowen says the government supports the launch of the Google Engage program because having access to the internet and fast broadband expands the market for small businesses, reduces costs and increase productivity.


Google Engage provides free online and face-to-face training to businesses specialising in search engine optimisation, website development and online advertising.


“Trying to run a small business without internet is these days like trying to be an Olympic swimmer without a swimming pool or trying to be a politician without how-to-vote cards,” he says.


“It’s going to become absolutely essential to a successful small business and taking that small business and turning it into a medium business and large business.”


Nick Leeder, chief executive of Google Australia, told SmartCompany this year the Google Engage program aimed to involve 3,000 people and the idea is they will help up to 100,000 small businesses.


“Just like small businesses have a lawyer to help them with legal issues and an accountant to help them with their finances, we know they really want help with how to get the best from digital.”


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.


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