LESS red tape and no new taxes are at the top of the wish list for Ballarat small businesses in the run-up to next week’s federal budget.
Treasurer Wayne Swan will rise in federal parliament next week to deliver his sixth budget, with many groups concerned with how the government will make up for a fall in revenue.
The federal government has already confirmed it will scrap promised tax cuts, as well as an increase in family benefits to cover a $17 billion revenue writedown.
Damien Butler from Butler Chartered Accountants said the government’s position meant it would probably be a tough budget for small business.
He said small business had been ignored by the federal government for the past few years.
“One of the things we can see is the government is strapped for cash, meaning a lot of our wishes aren’t going to come true,” he said.
Mr Butler, chair of the Western Region of Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), said small business was crying out for a reduction in red tape.
He said filling out increasing forms for things such as the GST sucked up valuable time for businesses with limited staff resources.
“It just seems to get replaced by more and more compliance burden, it takes time away from their core business and their ability to employ people.”
Tax relief was also on Mr Butler’s wish list, for both companies and consumers, to ensure continued growth in the economy.
He identified the rise in the superannuation guarantee rate from July this year as something which would also make it harder for small business to stay profitable.
“From a regional perspective were seeing a lot of businesses, particularly in the retail area, which have been impacted by the slowing economy,” he said.
“We’re seeing additional costs coming in. It just affects the overall profitability of small businesses.”
Mr Butler supported federal funding for the sports and entertainment precinct, the roll-out of the Ballarat West Employment Zone and freight hub and the duplication of the Western Highway to Stawell.
He also hoped the recently announced East-West Link would make it easier for Ballarat businesses to access Melbourne for commerce and trade.
Aside from red tape and tax relief, VECCI is running a campaign in the lead-up to the federal election to push for employment reform and better infrastructure.