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Election 2016: Coalition woos Australian Indian Small Business Sector

Melbourne, May 29: Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Assistant Treasurer & Minister for Small Business and the current member for Higgins in Melbourne, today said that “Indian Australians have contributed much to the economic, social and cultural life of Australia”.

With close to 400,000 people of Indian ancestry living in Australia, she said that the Turnbull Government is committed to building a prosperous, socially cohesive nation and encourages social cohesion by fostering the successful integration of migrants into the broad Australian community.

The electorate of Higgins has well over 5,000 people of Indian ancestry as residents.

Ms O’Dwyer said that the “Indian community is renowned for its commitment to hard work, enterprise, community spirit and building strong families”.

According to the 2011 Census, over a quarter – 26% of Australia’s population was born overseas and a further one fifth – 20% had at least one overseas-born parent.

The most recent economic figures identify 31 per cent of business operators and independent contractors as having been born overseas.

This segment of 613,000 people is being watched closely by the Coalition, who they believe will have keen interest in small business tax cuts, tax discounts, and tax concessions and thus make a difference in the final numbers.

Dinesh Malhotra, editor Bharat Times, Melbourne talking to Geraldine Doogue on Radio National Election Express, Saturday said that a large segment of Indian origin migrants are small business owners and penalty rates and tax cuts will be an issue for them in election 2016. Listen to the interview

Ms O’Dwyer said that it is well documented that “Australians who were born overseas are more likely to be self-employed than those born here.

“Turnbull Government is ensuring we continue to make Australia the best place to start and grow a small business.”

Ms O’Dwyer said that the migrant business segment is expected to grow. “Migrants are prepared to take risks and are particularly well-suited to the world of enterprise”. If the Coalition wins on July 2, the Turnbull Government will be able to

  • reduce the tax rate for small business to 27.5 from 28.5 per cent, retrospectively from July 1, 2016; and
  • the threshold for businesses able to access this rate will also be expanded from an annual turnover of $2 million to $10 million.

About 870,000 businesses are expected to benefit from the measures, — “businesses that employ more than 3.4 million workers and add hundreds of billions to our economy”, said Ms O’Dwyer.

“At the same time, we know many small businesses are not companies, so we will extend the unincorporated small business tax discount.

“This increase to the unincorporated tax discount rate adds another 2.3 million businesses into the column of small business winners”, according to Ms O’Dwyer.

From 1 July, the discount will be available for unincorporated businesses with an annual turnover of less than $5 million — up from $2 million. It will also be increased from 5 per cent to 8 per cent, while remaining capped at $1,000.

Coalition is also proposing reduction of tax rate and a range of tax concessions to small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million, which according to Ms O’Dwyer will allow over 90,000 more businesses to access immediate deductibility for each asset costing less than $20,000.

They will also enjoy simplified trading stock rules and a simplified method for paying PAYG instalments — thereby removing the risk of penalties.

Other measures proposed by Coalition are:

  • simplify the BAS reducing the fields required to be completed from seven to three;
  • investing $840 million Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) programme which will match young job seekers with employers; and
  • investment in skills training, internships and wage subsidies

Talking about small businesses, Ms O’Dwyer said “Together with what we have achieved to date, our national economic plan will help small businesses to innovate, grow and importantly create Australian jobs.

“The Turnbull Government recognizes the importance of the ability of new migrants being able to achieve economic independence and help Australia’s economy grow… these Australians know the markets into which we seek to expand; they understand the demands of the populations we look to serve.

“Importantly, they have the language skills, cultural understanding and people to people networks, necessary to engage with businesses overseas”.

Nidhi Mehta

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