Shadow Minister for Small Business Jenny Aitchison MP has today called out the NSW Liberals and Nationals on their continued failure to address the needs of small businesses, particularly in rural and regional NSW.

“The Government has had eight years to understand and address the issues that are important to small businesses,” said Ms Aitchison.

“They say they are all about reducing costs, cutting tax and slashing red tape, but their track record tells a different story. Today’s announcements show just how out of touch they remain, and how they continue to favour the big end of town.”

Minister for Small Business John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet released details of proposed Government measures including reductions in payroll tax brackets and efforts to reduce red tape.

“The Auditor General found in 2016 that the Government’s red tape reduction policy had been ineffective,” Ms Aitchison said.

Less than 5 per cent of small businesses across NSW pay payroll tax.

The Government has attacked TAFE, reduced qualifications for small business professions such as hairdressers, spent about 80 per cent of its failed Jobs Action Plan grants in the Sydney metro area, and ignored struggling small business owners in drought-affected communities.

The Liberals and Nationals infrastructure delivery in Sydney and Newcastle has negatively impacted small businesses to the extent the Government was forced to provide rent relief in Sydney.

Despite hinting she would provide the same relief to small businesses in Newcastle, Premier Berejiklian failed to provide the same rent relief there.

“Today’s announcement from the Berejiklian Government is more about Ministers Perrottet and Barilaro fighting to keep their jobs than about producing a package in support of our small businesses,” Ms Aitchison said.

“Small businesses around the state will wonder who the Small Business Minister is in NSW after this announcement. Is this another attempt by the Treasurer to find a job after the Deputy Premier made a bid for his job on the weekend?” said Ryan Park.

Labor has already announced a raft of measures that will make a real difference to small businesses throughout NSW. These include:

  • making TAFE free for courses relevant to skills shortages

  • making the largest investment in renewable energy in the history of NSW;

  • guaranteeing at least 50 per cent of work on major NSW Government projects is allocated to NSW businesses;

  • establishing a Chief Entrepreneur to oversee innovation in NSW;

  • establishing regional innovation districts;

  • creating a $20 million program for universities to open up innovative spaces; and

  • providing $500,000 for new mentoring and networking opportunities for women in business.

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