Senator Joyce: Dear Friends,
We learnt this week that economic growth is barely keeping up with population growth.
Interest rates are now down to levels that Wayne Swan called “emergency levels” just three years ago.
Finally the government realises that what they have been doing is not working. They won’t deliver a surplus with the current strategy. Last week they borrowed $3 billion and the week before that they borrowed the same.
Now they are backing away from their commitment to deliver a budget surplus this financial year. It has taken months for the government to realise what small businesses have been saying for a while.
For small business there is no two-speed economy, there is just one, the stopped one. Whether it is in Oxford Street or Toowoomba, I speak to small business owners who talk of shop vacancies, low turnover and frugal spending.
Small business is our biggest employer and small business is the greatest article of social advancement. There are around 2.5 million small businesses which employ 5 million other Australians. All up, that is more than two-thirds of our labour force. The Nationals in government will help small business by getting rid of the carbon tax and reducing red tape.
In 2007, Labor promised a ‘one in, one out’ rule for new regulations. But since coming to office, the Rudd-Gillard Government has nearly 800 pieces of legislation and published nearly 21,000 legislative instruments and repealed just 104. That’s not ‘one-in one-out’, it is 200 in for every one out.
Instead, we will dedicate at least two Parliamentary sitting days a year dedicated to removing unnecessary regulation. We will let small businesses remit compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the Australian Taxation Office.
Small business is the protector of the individual from the restriction of expression that is an unfortunate but essential element in the regimen of the big business corporate manual. Small business connects the farmer to the shop owner, from Charters Towers in Queensland to Mosman in Sydney.
The Nationals understand that if we don’t have a strong small business sector we won’t have a strong economy.
Senator Barnaby Joyce
Leader of the Nationals in the Senate