Small Business wish list for Federal Election Budget
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says Budget Night is crunch time for the Turnbull Government.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said Tuesday’s Federal Budget is shaping up to be crucial for the Coalition and Queensland with tax and spending reform emerging as key themes.
“Treasurer Scott Morrison has already outlined the 2016-17 Federal Budget will commit to a long-term plan for growth and jobs; ensuring sustainability of the tax system by cracking down on tax loopholes and avoidance especially by multinationals; and committing the Federal Government to live within its means,” Mr Behrens said.
“Fixing the Budget to get Australia back on a strong growth footing must be the top priority. To fix the Budget the Government needs to bring the public on board with the important reforms.”
Mr Behrens said the Queensland small business community remained anxious about this Budget.
“Not from what will be in it but whether the Federal Government can pitch to the public the need for sensible change that garners support at a Federal Election to be held July 2.
“This Budget is a critical chance to cut Government spending, secure sensible tax reform and enable much-needed reinvestment in infrastructure.
CCIQ has outlined key aspects it was looking for in Scott Morrison’s first Budget, including:
• A clear strategy to tackle the embedded structural deficit that exists in the Budget and commence paying down debt. CCIQ’s view is that the balancing the nation’s books should hinge on reducing Government spending rather than implementation of additional revenue grabs.
• Clarity around taxation and Federation reform.
• Further red tape reduction measures to allow small business to grow and employ.
• Specific funding for Queensland infrastructure that provides the new tier of projects to drive the state’s economic future, including:
- Brisbane Cross River Rail
- Port of Brisbane dedicated freight rail connection
- Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade
- Mount Isa – Townsville rail corridor upgrade
- Inland Rail / Southern Rail Corridor
- Bruce Highway upgrades (various)
- Ipswich Motorway Rocklea to Darra capacity
- M1 Pacific Motorway – Gateway Motorway merge upgrade
“It will be hard to match last year’s Budget that was labelled as being the most, small business-friendly Budget in over two decades,” he said.
“However, it will be crucially important as we will almost certainly see insight on election policy to be taken to the polls on July 2.
“CCIQ is confident that the Budget will prove to be a pork-barrelling bonanza for the Sunshine State.
“There is no question that Queensland will be the key battle ground for Federal Election, therefore the Budget is a significant opportunity for Queensland to secure vitally needed infrastructure funding.”
Expected Budget Outcomes:
Corporate Tax Minimisation
• There will be a ‘Government crackdown on multinational tax avoidance and on tax loopholes’.
• Tipped to unveil a "glide path" from the 30 per cent rate towards a lower rate.
• There will be no increases to income tax – “what you don't do if you want to grow the economy, if you want to support jobs, is increase income tax”.
• There has been some Budget speculation about possible changes to income tax, specifically to change the point at which the second-highest tax bracket kicks in, which is currently $80,000.
• Tax incentive for early stage investors.
• New arrangements for venture capital limited partnerships.
• $50 million will be allocated towards supporting new infrastructure projects for the nation's cities. The plan will see the Commonwealth help broker finance for state and private infrastructure projects, rather than providing direct grants.
• No changes to existing negative gearing or capital gains tax policy.
Superannuation Tax Concessions
• High-end superannuation tax concessions are set to be targeted.
• This plan would see higher income earners pay more on their contributions, which would save the Government an estimated $6 billion next financial year.
Tax on Cigarettes
• Smokers should be prepared for another increase in the tobacco excise.
• Changes to the GST ruled out.
• The Treasurer has not denied rumours of cuts to the public service.
• $127.2 million reform package to strengthen ASIC to combat misconduct in the financial services industry.