ACT News

Business tax reduction will save PS jobs: Greens

Simon Sheikh
Simon Sheikh Photo: Stefan Postles

The Greens say their policy to reduce the tax burden on Canberra's small business community will help offset the impact of the proposed cuts to the federal public service.

The party says the tax on the 25,000 small business operators in the ACT should be reduced from 30 to 28 per cent.

The tax should take effect from next July, with the cost to the budget of $1.75 billion over the forward estimates to be paid for by taxing overseas-owned mining corporations and the four big banks.

The Coalition is proposing to reduce the public service nationwide by 12,000 positions through natural attrition.

If Labor is re-elected, it will impose a dramatically increased public service "efficiency dividend" that a union says will mean at least 5000 jobs will go.

Greens ACT Senate candidate Simon Sheikh said when the Howard government cut the public service in 1996, the ripple effect hurt the rest of the community.


“There was a spike in bankruptcies among small business in 1996 and we don't want to see the same thing happen again," he said.

“That's why in addition to campaigning to stop the job cuts in the first place, we are also promoting a suite of polices to help small business.

“There are 25,000 small businesses across Canberra and I want to make sure they are at the heart of our economy and well supported."

Mr Sheikh said half a dozen small businesses across Canberra have joined the Greens' program to stop job cuts.

“Many of these small businesses were here in 1996 and they remember how painful it was," he said.

“One small business owner I spoke with lost about $300,000 in the 12 months following the last job cuts."

On Thursday the Greens announced their proposal for a company tax rate cut from 30 per cent to 28 per cent for companies with turnovers of less than $2 million, changes to depreciation write-offs and strengthening the role of the national Small Business Commissioner.

"The Greens are committed to supporting the small businesses who make up such a vital part of our community," Mr Sheikh said.

"However, after Abbott's announcement yesterday to support tax breaks for the big end of town, it's clear that Abbott and the Liberals do not.

"Abbott has already declared that he intends to repeal the carbon tax and abolish the mining tax, two moves that pander to vested interests and now to add insult to injury, he has released a corporations tax that will primarily benefit the big end of town.

"We Greens recognise that small businesses are vital for healthy communities, and a healthy economy but they are on unequal footing.

"They lack the market power of big businesses and the lobby power of industry heavy-weights.

"That's why we're committed to levelling the playing field and giving small business a fair go."


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