darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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August 23, 2013

Lowering small business tax and cutting red tape will help local small businesses grow and create more jobs in Gippsland according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester said both steps are part of The Nationals policy to support the industry which has been ignored by the Rudd-Gillard Government.

The Nationals ‘Putting Locals First’ small business campaign was initiated by Mr Chester who said he would continue to promote the benefits of shopping locally and utilising local traders at every opportunity if re-elected.

“The small business industry is the economic driver of Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“There are over 13,000 registered small businesses in our region and they’ve been ignored by a Labor Government which had five Small Business Ministers in 15 months and introduced more than 21,000 additional regulations.

“Policies like the carbon tax have also put added pressure on the bottom-line for local operators and in recent weeks we’ve heard of the damage that Labor’s proposed changes to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) will have on small businesses within the automotive industry.

“I’m keen to work with my colleagues to support the industry and reach our goal of creating one million new jobs within five years.

“A strong small business industry will help support regional communities and provide spin-off benefits to the local sporting and community groups which rely on them so heavily for financial and in-kind support.”

Mr Chester said the small business policy would also see the removal of structural impediments, encouragement of small business finance and a change in the culture of government with a dedicated cabinet minister and assessments of the regulatory impact of any significant policy considered by cabinet.

The Coalition’s Policy for Small Business includes:

* Abolishing the carbon tax;
* Cutting $1 billion in red and green tape costs every year;
* Reduce the company tax rate by 1.5 per cent to a new rate of 28.5 per cent;
* Reject Labor’s $1.8 billion FBT hit on cars;
* Undertaking an independent ‘root and branch’ review of the competition framework;
* Extending unfair contract protections for small business;
* Deferring by two years the increase in compulsory employer-funded superannuation;
* Protect the rights of independent contractors and the self-employed;
* Improve small business access to government contracts;
* Ensure government agencies pay all small business bills within 30 days;
* Provide small business with a voice on economic bodies;
* Establish a new Small Business Ombudsman – and specifically work on improving big business “fair commercial conduct”;
* Work with the financial sector to improve access to small business finance;
* Refine the national Franchising Code;
* Implement our policy to Boost Productivity and Reduce Regulation and;
* Ensure small business gets a seat at the B20 forum.

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