1 February 2016
Transcript - #2016009, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News, AM Agenda

SUBJECTS: Tax reform, New Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

KIERAN GILBERT:

We’re joined now by the Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer. Kelly O’Dwyer first of all your thoughts on this suggestion by Mike Baird today on how any GST revenue would be used, another constructive contribution from the New South Wales Premier.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well Look, as I said before we welcome everyone who wants to have an input into this discussion and debate but I say again, these suggestions are suggestions that are being made by State Premiers regarding the GST and how they would like to spend the GST dollars that are raised. The Commonwealth Government has been very clear, when we talk about tax reform we’re talking about lowering the overall tax burden and we want to make sure that any changes to the taxation system make it fit for purpose and competitive in today’s economy. So that’s the criteria against which we’re going to measure it and we welcome…

GILBERT:

So what’s the purpose of – if you need to argue the purpose of the tax reform, in simple terms what is it?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well the purpose of the tax reform is to make sure we can help to grow our economy further and to create more jobs. We want to make sure that people have the right incentives to go out there, to work hard, to risk their capital in creating new small businesses, we want to make sure that the economy has got the right economic settings to drive it forward and our taxation system is fundamental to that.

GILBERT:

Alright. So this growth friendly tax system that Mathias Cormann was referring to repeatedly this morning, are you encouraged by the numbers in the Newspoll today saying that nearly 40 per cent in favour, and this is even before the Government’s talked about compensational tax cuts, this is the GST question here if you do pursue that that’s quite an encouraging number, isn’t it?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, as you know I don’t really comment on the polls and they’re always a bit of a snapshot of what people are thinking at any one particular point in time. We go direct to the Australian people and talk to them about these sorts of issues. We welcome their input and feedback and I’m sure this is just the very beginning.

GILBERT:

You’ve appointed Kate Carnell the Small Business Ombudsman. What is this? I know this is honouring an election commitment but what do you hope that the former ACT Chief Minister and head of the Chamber of Commerce is going to achieve in this role?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, this is a very significant election commitment that we have fulfilled. The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has three critical roles. First, to be a strong and powerful advocate for small business; second to assist in being a concierge for them to ensure that they can resolve their disputes without going to expensive litigation and third, to make sure that Commonwealth and State laws are fit for purpose when it comes to small business and I know that Kate, not only as a Chief Minister, not only as the former CEO to ACCI, but as someone who herself started out in small business as a pharmacist in the ACT, I know that she is the absolute right person for that job.

GILBERT:

Finally, I just want to get your thoughts quickly, we’re almost out of time, but on Labor’s suggestion stronger protections for workers entitlements and tougher penalties for employers who undertake sham contracts and so on, what are your initial thoughts on what Mr Shorten announced this morning?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well look, we’ve seen from Labor a lot of very big talk on a whole range of issues including in terms of protection of workers, the best thing that they can do to protect workers and to protect our economy and the construction industry is to pass our laws in the Senate that will have someone on the beat making sure that people are not doing the wrong thing through the reestablishment of the ABCC, that’s what they can do, they don’t need to talk about it, they can simply do it.

GILBERT:

Kelly O’Dwyer thanks for your time ahead of the return to Parliament tomorrow. We’ll talk to you soon.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

My pleasure.