13 May 2015
Transcript - #2015052, 2015

Interview with Ross Greenwood, 2GB Money News, Sydney

SUBJECTS: Budget 2015 - Jobs and Small Business Package

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Bruce Billson, the Minister for Small Business in Australia. He has had a busy time because his portfolio has been front and centre of this Budget process.

Good day Bruce, how are you doing?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Ross how are you and your listeners tonight?

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Very well thank you.

I have just offered them the chance if they want to jump on the line and have a call.

MINISTER BILLSON:

Sure.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Tradies, small business people – jump on the line. Ask Bruce- because he has got all the answers. He set all the policy up.

So are you happy with the way that this Budget has been received from your perspective as the Small Business Minister?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Yes I am. It has been really positive and really encouraging and we have worked closely with the small business community as you know Ross and drew from them their field evidence, their insights, what we could do best to support and energise their enterprise and that is what shaped the Budget that we announced last night.

A $5.5 billion package over the forward estimates to support people that are creating the jobs and the economic opportunity in our economy and the response has been fantastic. Small businesses have been saying great, this is just the bit of encouragement, that little catalyst that we need to make that next investment, to look at how we can grow our business.

But I must say one of the best responses Ross was one of our welfare organisations this morning, on a television program, said they were very upbeat about the small business package because people returning to work after some time away of struggle to get a job or it might be their first job – more often than not it is a small business giving them that chance.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

That is so true and I have got to say we just had Cassandra Goldie on who was probably that very same person you were talking about. Now, a couple of bits and pieces. I am not going to let you off completely free.

Number one: I want to take you to one thing and that is, if you are an unincorporated small business with turnover of less than $2 million, so this is most tradies operating as sole traders or in partnerships, they get a discount which is a limit of $1000.

Now my question is, between you and me, $1000 is neither here nor there Bruce really in the whole scheme of things is it?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Gee it is to me mate and it is to people that are involved in small business.

If you are in a partnership and you are both contributing to the business, that is $1000 each, but we did not want to lose sight of the simple fact that two-thirds of Australian small businesses are not incorporated.

Whilst there is the 1.5 per cent tax cut for those that are companies, and that takes us down to the lowest level of small business company tax since 1967. That is when Sadie the Cleaning Lady was number 1 Ross so that is a while back and you and I might barely remember that.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

I will tell you what we will give you a small reminder before the end of this segment I can tell you Bruce. Let us do that hey?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Ok.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Ok now listen let us go to Tim in Mulgoa he has jumped on the line. Thanks for your time Tim.

CALLER:

Good day Ross, good day Bruce.

MINISTER BILLSON:

How are you?

CALLER:

Good job on the Budget mate. Well done.

MINISTER BILLSON:

Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement. What did you like best about it Tim?

CALLER:

I am a small business owner myself and it is the tax cuts that I like and for me I am going to be spending a fair bit of money on capital expenditure before 2017.

MINISTER BILLSON:

Brilliant. Get amongst it because we admire what you do, we thank you for the opportunities you create for your community, your family and others and we just want to be your best ally and advocate mate.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Tim go for it. I want to know about the process Bruce. Is that what you want to go through Tim?

CALLER:

So the process – say I want to buy something that is $25,000, a bit of capital expenditure that is $25,000. Do I get to claim $20,000 immediately and then the rest of the $5000 is as per usual?

MINISTER BILLSON:

No. The transaction has got to be under $20,000 and then you can write off the whole lot.

In the first instance, if it is over $20,000 and you are in that small business zone of a turnover under $2 million, you can write-off the first 15% and then the rest of it goes into an asset pool and you can knock 30% off it every year after that.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Ok that is pretty simple, I thank you so much and thank you also to Tim for that one as well.

Let us keep on moving down and I want to get to Nick who is Brighton now. Nick has just jumped on the line. Good day Nick how are you doing?

CALLER:

Yes good Ross, yourself?

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Yes very well thank you. You are talking to the Small Business Minister Bruce Billson.

CALLER:

How are you Bill? Bruce sorry.

Just a quick one – the $20,000 tax incentive that we have got to immediately write-off those assets…

MINISTER BILLSON:

Yes.

CALLER:

Is that $20,000 per particular item? So if I get 10 items that are $10,000 each up to $100,000, can I claim all of those?

MINISTER BILLSON:

Yes you can.

CALLER:

Or is it just up to a sum of $20,000? Because it was not quite clear in the papers.

MINISTER BILLSON:

It is not a capped amount Nick. It is actually up to $20,000 for each and every purchase you make of capital equipment, of kit, of technology, of assets you need that are related to your business.

If you have got a few things that are under the $20,000, each separate transaction is able to be written off immediately starting from 7:30 last night. So you can bring that deduction to your tax return this year and then for the 2 years that follows.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

There you go Nick in Brighton, thank you for that one.

Let us go to Dougall very quickly in Brisbane. We have got a short amount of time Dougall so be quick.

CALLER:

Just the concessions for primary producers around fencing, water and fodder – they do not start until 1 July 2016. What is the thinking behind that?

MINISTER BILLSON:

I think that is right. Let me just check Dougall, I do not want to lead you astray but I am pretty sure you are right on those dates. I will come back to Ross if I am not correct but that was about preparing for drought and the productive capacity of your farming property.

It is the full deduction of whatever you spend, so that would be fencing, fodder storage, irrigation systems. I will check the start date because I have not got that material right in front of me. That is one of Barnaby Joyce's.

ROSS GREENWOOD:

Come back to be Bruce. I have got to keep on going. Dougall in Brisbane we will come back and answer that. I will get the answer from Bruce and we will give it to you here.

Now Bruce to go out with, have a listen to this.

[Plays 'Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)']

So there you go Bruce. The lowest tax rate since Sadie came out for small business. Have a great evening we appreciate your time.

MINISTER BILLSON:

Thanks Ross. Thanks listeners.