Second Reading – Small Business Budget Measures Bill
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (18:46): It does not matter whether you are Inn Style Mensland, in Hervey Bay, or are the IGA at River Heads; whether you are Hartel Electrical or you are the Booyal service station; whether you are Bundaberg Sandblasting or you are the little shop down at Woodgate—the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 1) Bill 2015 is the bill for you. It is certainly not the bill on the other side of the House.
This is the bill that supports you and support yours business. As someone who has grown a business from the back of my ute, I recognise that every great venture starts with an idea. Even the world’s most successful large companies have come from humble beginnings. Small business is the economic lifeblood of regional communities like mine, and the coalition government wants to see them prosper. There are some 8,600 small businesses in the Hinkler electorate, operating across a range of sectors, including construction and manufacturing. Many are family businesses run by mums and dads, aunts, uncles and siblings. I know that many employees who are not related often become family. They work long hours, take few holidays and sometimes wear enormous risk to provide important services and products to our community. Across the country, small businesses employ more than four million people. In Queensland, they are responsible for over 90 per cent of all employment. We are working to give businesses the confidence they need to invest and employ, because it is the private sector, not the government, that creates jobs. What fantastic news we had today on the growth numbers for the quarter: at 0.9 per cent, our budget and the measures of this government are working to support the economy and businesses in Australia.
From 1 July this year, all small companies with an annual turnover of less than $2 million will have their tax rate lowered. That is right: it will be lowered from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent. This is the lowest small business company tax rate in almost 50 years. Most small businesses are not run as companies though, so we will also provide an annual five per cent tax discount of up to $1,000 a year for the unincorporated businesses. Small businesses can now claim an immediate tax deduction for each and every item they purchase up to $20,000. Every item purchased since 7.30 on Tuesday 12 May, when the budget was released, can be instantly written-off to reduce your tax liability.
This measure alone will benefit 96 per cent of Australian businesses—more than two million of them. If you run a cafe, you might buy new kitchen equipment or new tables and chairs. If you are tradie, you might buy new tools or a computer for the home office. Cars and vans, kitchens or machinery—anything under $20,000 is 100 per cent tax-deductible. But I would advise you to get specialist taxation advice. We are abolishing the fringe benefits tax on portable electronic devices used for work, like mobile phones, laptops and tablets, and farmers will get an immediate tax deduction for new investment in water facilities and will be able to fully deduct the cost of new fencing from their tax bill. Silos and storage will be brought down to a three-year depreciation rate. Can you imagine just what this does for the small business and the small farmer? They will be able to go and invest in things that help to drought-proof them. Hopefully, they will purchase that equipment from local producers and local manufacturers. That will create jobs. That will create employment. It will give them work. It is of great benefit to the nation and I am very pleased that it is there.
However, in the brief contribution that I intend to make, I would like to talk about what local Hinkler businesses think of the budget and the measures for small business. Debranette, at Take Time Out for Yourself, in the small town of Howard, a little township in the middle of my electorate, said she was very happy with the budget measures for small business. They allow her to buy new equipment that needs to be replaced right now. Mark and Cara St Ledger, who own The Tuckerbox, a famous source of food and sustenance at Sugarland Shopping Centre, wish it had been brought in two weeks earlier, because then they could have used it to put in the new deep fryer that they had to purchase when the old one broke down. Unfortunately, they have missed out, but they will have more opportunities in the future. Bill Trevor, a farmer from Childers, said he is very happy. It allows people to upgrade equipment, which has been very difficult because of the drought and the low returns in farming at the moment. It is a great opportunity for the people in my electorate, and it is an absolute pleasure to be here to speak in support of this bill.
The government are getting on with the job. We are building a stronger economy and a stronger future for this country. Small businesses are the backbone of the nation, and they will drag us forward. They are the ones that employ. We know that, and I am sure they will do a great job.