Labor fails small and family businesses in budget

Daniel Andrews is more interested in looking after his construction union mates than in bringing small businesses back to life.

Mum and dad businesses have been hung out to dry in Labor’s debt-fuelled budget, with no support to claw back what they’ve lost during Labor’s second wave.

Many small businesses have barely survived months of closure during strict lockdowns as a result of Labor allowing COVID-19 to escape hotel quarantine through botched management and sub-standard contact tracing.

But instead of helping these hard working businesses recover and create immediate jobs for Victorians, Labor’s budget pumps debt money into mega-projects still years away.

Labor’s so called ‘new jobs tax credit’ for small and medium businesses will only provide tax relief to 3 per cent of Victorian small and medium businesses, and only once they can afford to increase the size of their payroll expenses to pre-pandemic levels. Small businesses that don’t employ extra staff will receive no benefit at all.

In Victoria’s biggest ever spending and borrowing budget, Labor has ignored small businesses that need support to recover leading the Restaurant and Catering Association to dismiss the budget’s paltry support for the sector as ‘table scraps’.

Victoria’s 640,000 small businesses should be the engine room for our state’s economic recovery from the COVID lockdowns, but they have again been abandoned by Labor.

With 1 in 5 Victorian workers out of a job or underemployed, Labor’s unfair budget will do nothing to fix Victoria’s jobs crisis.

The Andrews Labor Government has failed to provide the critical support that struggling Victorian small businesses need in order to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and succeed in 2021.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Michael O’Brien:

“For sole trader or mum and dad businesses who don’t pay payroll tax, they will not get a cent from this Andrews Labor Government to help them get back on their feet.

“These hard workers pay taxes like all Victorians, and when they need help most the Andrews Labor Government has abandoned them.

“These small and family businesses provide services to other Victorians, contribute to their local communities and support local jobs.

“Instead of pie-in-the-sky infrastructure projects that throw more money at ad agencies than local workers, we need shovel-ready projects ready to create immediate jobs.

“Daniel Andrews’ second wave lockdowns decimated the livelihoods of our small business community, but there are no lifelines in this Labor budget.”