My 2017 Federal Budget Wishlist For Small Business Owners (Even Though Most Don’t Care)

When I ask Australian small business owners about their thoughts, hopes and wishes for the upcoming 2017 Federal Budget it’s not uncommon to hear this …


Now, I could take this reaction one of two ways, either:

  1. They’re too flat-out making ends meet; or
  2. They’ve given up hoping how our politicians can help them prosper

I personally think it’s a bit of both. Not a great outcome, but it’s the truth, and it’s backed up by a recent survey conducted by online accounting software MYOB that revealed “It doesn’t matter who’s in charge; Australian small business is skeptical about the government’s ability to deliver them a Budget that will make an impact.”

2017 Federal Budget SMEsDespite this I don’t give a damn mindset, the 2017 Federal Budget is a moment in time that can (maybe even will … maybe) positively influence the way business gets done in Australia.

So, to breathe some life into this (possibly undervalued) event, I’ve gone ahead and prepared a wishlist of 5 initiatives I hope Treasurer Scott Morrison has the foresight and courage to deliver on:


  1. At a macro level, I’d love to see clear signals that our Government truly cares about the prosperity of SMEs, and that the 2015 Federal Budget (which was a solid one – thanks Bruce) wasn’t just a play to win the election. Unfortunately, my state’s (Victoria) recent Budget had very little SME focus aside from some minor Payroll tax relief.
  2. Extend the instant asset write-off scheme past June 30 – and increase the threshold for SMEs to claim asset purchases up to $30,000 (currently $20,000). 60% of respondents in the previously mentioned MYOB survey said that this was “…the most pressing need they would like to see addressed in the budget.” That kind of surprises me … I thought there’d be more important needs like tax cuts and employment incentives, but the idea of instantly writing down that $19,999 ute or sexy new Rancilio Coffee Machine does feel enticing ;0)2017 federal budget
  3. Legislated 15-day payment terms (AKA the Prompt Payment Protocol) – It should be legislated (not just a voluntary code) that big business (Top 100 ASX & multi-nationals) pay small business on 15-day terms. And yes I know, the voluntary code is currently at 30-days. Cash flow is absolutely everything in business … if you can’t pay the bills, then the gate shuts pretty quickly, right? Too often, the top end of town uses small business as banks, and that’s just not on, Donkey Kong.
  4. Generous tax cuts – enough is never enough! Not only is this so called Lucky Country an incredibly expensive place to start and run a business, but according to research done by the office of the Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell “… in recent years, SME’s share of Company Tax revenue increased by 2% compared to a 3% fall for big business.” Why should we be footing the bill?! Business owners urgently need these savings to reinvest in to plant & equipment, innovation and employment. Speaking of which …2017 Federal Budget SMEs
  5. Incentives for business owners to employ young and ‘old’ people … with a focus on the old. Having just turned 50 (please, hold the commiserations) I’m increasingly sensitive to hearing about the ugly face of ageism shown by employers who choose not to employ people over 50. Surely we’re the wise ones, Yoda? So Scott, please encourage employers to employ us oldies … and (while you’re hot) give the young people of today a go, as well 🙂

There you go, my small business wish list for the 2017 Federal Budget. Am I asking for too much? Too little? What would you like to see included?

Finally, if my budgetary ramblings have moved your care factor away from the sound of crickets to a modicum of care, then join me (and other small business experts) at 8:30PM Tuesday, May 9 on this Facebook Live event to dissect what the 2017 Federal Budget really does hand down and how it will make our lives better.


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