Small business policies by small business people

The DLP is the party of small business people. Senator John Madigan has over 25 years experience operating a small business. Federal Secretary and Victorian senate candidate Mark Farrell has over 16 years experience. Indeed, they are exemplary of the bulk of the Party’s membership. It is within the context of first-hand experience in small business that has lead to the formulation of the DLP’s small business policy.

The DLP believes that big business and government trading terms for the supply of goods and services by a small business should be no longer than 30 days standard trade.

Too often, small businesses are ripped off by big business. One common example is when a big business unfairly delays payment to a small business which has provided goods and/or services. This is one of the biggest obstacles small businesses face when trying to improve cash flow, which is crucial for survival and investment. DLP members have experienced this problem first-hand, so they have formulated a policy solution.

Click here to view the DLP’s small business policy

Which party really understands small business?

There’s not a drop of doubt that small business is underrepresented in Australia, as highlighted in the previous small business post. With the Federal election near at hand, let’s take a look at some of the small business policy platforms being proposed by some of the main political parties.

 

 

Australian Labor Party (ALP)

The ALP website highlights what the party has already done for small business, but nothing new is being proposed. It gives mention to the following:

  • the establishment of a Minister for Small Business (Unfortunately, the Minister the Hon. Gary Gray has no experience in small business what-so-ever)
  • the establishment of Enterprise Connect
  • certain financial entitlements

 

With nothing new being proposed, one can’t help but wonder how the current situation for small business could be improved if the ALP retains government.

 

Interestingly, the ALP has no separate ‘small business’ policy, but places it into an ‘Australian Business’ page on their website, together with big business plans like the NBN and Tourism 2020. It begs the question: does the ALP really understand how small business is different to big business?

 

 

Liberal Party of Australia

The Liberals are proposing a lot of changes for small business, and these can be found in their policy document Our Plan: real solutions for all Australians. The Liberal Party’s policy is intended to:

  • lowering taxes and business costs
  • cutting red and green tape
  • double the annual rate of small business growth
  • relieving competition laws and policy
  • extending unfair contract protection to small business

 

Cutting bureaucratic tape and conducting a review of competition laws would be greatly welcomed by small business. However, there are some pretty big ‘ifs’ with the other policies.

 

The Liberals’ plan for lowering taxes and cutting business costs hinge on their intention of abolishing the carbon tax and funding from savings in the budget.

 

Will the next parliament pass legislation to abolish the carbon tax? Will there be a slice of the pie for small business made from savings in budget cuts, when the Liberals are desperate to deliver a budget surplus? These are arguments for another day; for now I’ll leave it for you to decide.

 

And doubling small business growth by adding more than 30,000 new small businesses every year? If they have a master plan, you’d think we’d know of it by now.

 

 

 

The Greens

The Greens don’t have a small business policy. Don’t believe it? Take a look at their 2013 election website to see for yourself.

 

 

Democratic Labour Party (DLP)

The DLP are likely to hold the ‘balance of power’ in the Senate following this year’s federal election, so let’s see what this resurgent party has to say on small business. Their policies seek to stop big business making life hard for small business, increase cash flow, cut back bureaucratic tape and make it easier to get a new small business up and running. The policies are:

 

  • stopping big businesses’ and government’s unfair practice of lengthy delays on payments for goods and services provided by small business by introducing a maximum of 30 days standard trade for such payments;
  • deferring small business company tax for one year for the first seven years followed by a generous catch up period;
  • having superannuation and WorkCover costs covered by Federal Government for the first year of a small business employing its first full-time employee, covering a wage of up to $48,000 per annum;
  • establishing local small business mentoring programs comprised of both retired and current small business owners;
  • opposing undue and excessive Federal and State Government and local council bureaucracy for small business operators.

 

It is worth mentioning that not only does DLP Senator John Madigan have over 25 years of small business experience under his belt, but if this year’s DLP Victorian senate candidate Mark Farrell joins him, you can add an extra 16 years on top of that.

 

That would mean the DLP would be holding the balance of power in the Senate, with a combined total of over 41 years of experience in owning and operating a small business. Indeed, this would create refreshingly new dynamics to Australian politics.

 

Voting for a minor party might prove a lot more effective than some may think.

 

 

By Vince Stefano

Small Business is shockingly underrepresented. The DLP is the antidote.

There are more than 2.4 million small businesses in Australia which collectively employ around 7 million people. That is over half of the Australian workforce.

 

Small business is one of the greatest contributors to Commonwealth and State revenue. Yet, consecutive federal governments have made life harder and harder for Australian small business people.

 

The Council of Small Businesses Australia states that political parties and most bureaucrats “acknowledge the role played by small business in the economy but over the last twenty years they have not shown that they understand that a small business is different from big business and must have different policy responses and different process and rules.”

 

A look at the current make-up of our federal parliament is not very encouraging. In the House of Representatives, only a dozen out of the 150 members have experience in owning/operating a small business (5/71 ALP, 4/59 Liberals, 2/11 Nationals, 1/5 Independents).

 

The Senate is not much different. Out of 76 senators, such experience is only found in 7. One of them is a particular highlight – DLP Senator John Madigan stands out with over 25 years’ experience in operating a small business. And if this year’s DLP Victorian senate candidate Mark Farrell joins him, you can add an extra 16 years on top of that.

 

That would mean the DLP would be holding the balance of power in the Senate, with a combined total of over 41 years of experience in owning and operating a small business. Indeed, this would create refreshingly new dynamics to Australian politics.

 

The ALP government should be commended for establishing a Minister for Small Business portfolio, the first in a decade. Unfortunately, the Minister the Hon. Gary Gray has no experience in small business what-so-ever. Ludicrous? You betcha.

 

Looking to this year’s federal election, I must say that the prospects for small business aren’t great. The ALP aren’t offering anything new, the Liberals sound great but in reality are not convincing. The Greens don’t even have a small business policy. Don’t believe it? Take a look at their 2013 election website to see for yourself. The DLP have some really good ideas, but they need to gain the balance of power first.

 

Who’s going to be flying the flag for small business after this year’s federal election?

 

I will go through a more detailed overview of these parties’ small business policies in the next small business blog post.

 

 

By Vince Stefano