Michaelia Cash looks at more tax cuts for small businesses
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Michaelia Cash looks at more tax cuts for small businesses

Further tax reform for small business is on the agenda for the Morrison government with taxation "absolutely always a number one issue".

Small business minister Michaelia Cash told Fairfax Media on Thursday tax cuts for small business will be part of the government's policy.

Michaelia Cash opened the Council of Small Business of Australia Summit on Thursday.

Michaelia Cash opened the Council of Small Business of Australia Summit on Thursday.Credit:AAP

With the government dumping its policy of tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of over $50 million, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday there would be "a new, exciting, tax policy for small and medium businesses".

Ms Cash said she is "in discussions" with the Prime Minister about the policy.

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"I can't give you anything more concrete than that," she said. "We are committed to small and medium businesses and we are committed to policies that are going to help them grow and certainly tax cuts are part of that policy mix."

Ms Cash spoke to Fairfax Media after she opened the Vodafone National Small Business Summit in Sydney where she told the gathering "the level of taxation, it is just absolutely always a number one issue".

In her speech Ms Cash said taxation for small business is the lowest it has been for 50 years and the government has already legislated for further cuts with the small business tax rate to drop to 25 per cent by 2026-2027.

"There is not one small and family business in Australia that when I talk to them doesn't raise with me the issue of tax cuts," she said. "We understand not just the importance of tax cuts to you but we know that when we give you a tax cut you don't go out and buy another Mercedes Benz you invest it straight back into your business.

The word 'shame' was spray-painted on the walls of Michaelia Cash's Perth office.

The word 'shame' was spray-painted on the walls of Michaelia Cash's Perth office.Credit:James Carmody, ABC News

Post spill policy

Ms Cash has been under increased scrutiny over her role in the leadership spill, with her offices in Perth spray painted with the words 'shame' earlier this week, but but she said people are now focused on policy.

"Obviously the events of last week were distressing for so many people but Scott Morrison, particularly in his first event as prime minister said, this is it, this is the new generation of the Liberal Party, we don't look backwards we now look forwards," she said.  "I have been really pleased with the feedback I have got with Liberal Party members with the closing of a door and the focus on the future. Ultimately that is what people want, they want us to focus on good policy."

Julia Banks says she will quit Parliament at the end of her term.

Julia Banks says she will quit Parliament at the end of her term.Credit:Andrew Meares

With Liberal MP Julia Banks set to quit parliament over bullying claims, Ms Cash said bullying in the government would not be tolerated.

"I haven't spoken to Julia Banks so I am not aware of the behaviour she is referring to, but in general what do I think about bullying? I think that it has no place in a political party and it has no place in a workplace, full stop," she said.

Ms Cash is the fifth small business minister in three years but she dismissed concerns over a 'revolving door' of ministers.

"It's not about adopting a whole new set of policies," she said. "It's about looking at the work we were doing but particularly what works for small and family sized businesses. In my previous roles I had exposure to small and family sized businesses, this is an ongoing conversation for me. Because of my previous role I have been having these discussions. It is a continuity for me of the conversations I have been having."

One policy area Ms Cash will focus on will be franchising and she says she will be monitoring the ongoing senate inquiry into the sector.

"I was the employment minister when we brought in the vulnerable workers legislation that did focus on franchising and particularly the 7-Eleven issue and ensuring that you comply with the law but in particular you pay your employees," she said. "We have been progressively putting in place policies to address bad behaviour but franchising is something we need to do more work on."

Growing up in a small business

In her speech to the summit Ms Cash, emphasised her small business roots, detailing how her father owned and operated a health food store while she was growing up.

“Having a small business is a family affair, when you have a small business, without a doubt, the kids are going to be involved in some way," she said.

Ms Cash used to help her father out in the store and said they were generally paid in fast food for their labour.

"He would always say to us at the end of the day, 'You get to choose McDonalds, or Hungry Jacks'," she said. "I was talking to one of my advisers who looked at me and said, 'Isn't it rather ironic your father is running a health food shop?"

Ms Cash said the store was required by law to be closed on Sundays but her father would be in the store working hard all day anyway and the family would assist.

“Who is there long before the shop opens who is there long after the business closes? It is the owner," she said. "You are the ones putting up the funds to ensure the business is able to prosper and grow. But in putting up the funds and ensuring your employees are able to be paid you are often the last person to be paid."

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