Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. – Henry David Thoreau
Tony Abbott is now concerned at the reduction in the establishment of small businesses under the Labor government. He has dedicated himself and his party to fix it, claiming to be the man with the plan. There will even be a Minister for Small Business in his cabinet who, presumably will have a Department staffed generously at taxpayers expense to come up with ideas for just how such businesses can be ‘created and run:
"Under the Howard government on average there were 36,000 more small businesses at the end of every year," Mr Abbott told the Menzies Research Centre Small Business Forum.
"Under the current government there are just 15,000 more small businesses at the end of every year and they are employing fewer people. "We will restore the rate of growth for small business." Mr Abbott said there would be a focus on small businesses that create jobs.
This latest commitment comes on top of other coalition policies aimed at supporting small business, including slashing red tape costs by $1 billion a year. The opposition has also pledged to have a dedicated small business minister in cabinet, and superannuation and paid parental leave schemes that take the burden off small business owners.
Mr Abbott said Australia's economic vitality was being sapped because small businesses were being suffocated and owners felt let down by the Labor government due to increases in labour costs, red tape and the introduction of the carbon tax. "Small business start-ups have dropped by a staggering 95 per cent," he said.
"The number going bankrupt have increased by 48 per cent.” Small business insolvencies instigated by the tax office are up nine per cent on previous years. "There are 11,000 fewer small businesses actually employing people now than there were in 2007.”
The policies of the current government have cut a swathe through all of the business community, not just the big ones. It has been said for some time that the best way to establish a small business in Australia is to buy a big one and wait a few years. Some of Tony’s ideas would help, like the abolition of the carbon tax, and cutting red tape, although when the Liberals cut red tape, they normally do it lengthwise.
On the other hand, the party intends to replace the carbon tax with another scheme, which will spend huge amounts on carbon abatement programmes. While these cost less than the Labor Party spends, they still impose costs on the taxpayer, which reduces the amount of money they have available for purchases, many of which would be from small businesses.
The paid parental leave scheme is one of the worst ideas anyone from the right hand side of politics has ever come up with. Tony’s idea is to pay for one parent to take leave for six months at normal rate of pay up to $150,000 per year. It has not been explained why today’s couples cannot produce children without subsidies from the government.
The cost of the Liberal scheme is to be defrayed by a surcharge of 3% on the taxes of big business. This will impact on small businesses, many of whom have been created to provide services to big businesses who, thanks to Tony, will have less money for those services. Essentially, Abbott is handing money to them with one hand while picking their pockets with the other.
Small business was the first form of enterprise established here, way back when the place was a struggling colony. It has had its ups and downs ever since, but has survived and thrived in the main without the ‘help’ of a dedicated ministry. There has been no need for one in the past, nor in the present, and can in all probability succeed in the future without one.