$1 billion jobs plan is a mixed blessing for Queensland businesses

Tuesday 19 February, 2013 | Tags: Economic Policy, Workplace and Employment Policy

The Federal Government’s $1 billion Jobs Plan is a mixed blessing for Queensland small businesses, says the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).

CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy, Nick Behrens said the intention of the Government’s plan was commendable, “CCIQ is supportive of any measures that assists small and medium businesses to grow and expand."

"It is pleasing to see the Federal Government again recognise the importance of small businesses to the Australian economy and actively engage in policies that will benefit this key economic demographic.

“In particular, CCIQ is pleased to note the Government’s commitment to improve access to finance for small businesses and start-up companies.”

However, in real terms the plan will bring only limited benefits for Queensland businesses.

“The measures outlined under the Plan unfortunately do not meaningfully remove the regulatory burden that Queensland businesses are currently experiencing. Many of the grants available to small businesses are complex and difficult to tap into,” Mr Behrens said.

CCIQ is keen to ensure that any measures announced by the Government aimed at assisting small businesses are accessible and easy to understand. 

Further, CCIQ is concerned about the impact of withdrawing research and development grants from Australian companies who turnover more than $20 million per annum. 

Small businesses are an important part of the supply chain to big businesses. Any cuts to big business inevitably filter down and affect those businesses that rely on expenditure from the top end of town.

CCIQ firmly believes that the best way to improve the competitiveness and productivity of struggling industries such as manufacturing is to improve their business operating environment and lower the cost base of doing business in Australia.

“It is confusing to see the Federal Government’s policy inconsistency of a hostile industrial relations agenda coupled with a carbon pricing mechanism that deeply hurts business and at the same time efforts to try and assist business,” Mr Behrens said.

Unfortunately, the $1 billion Jobs Plan announced by the Government this week, though well-intentioned, fails to acknowledge the complexities of the operating environment facing small business.

In many respects business does not need assisting if the hindering is done away in the first place.

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