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Coalition small business con faces 7-Eleven backfire!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Abbott government has dug itself into another self-damaging hole. This time it’s over the sly con they are conducting against Australia’s small business people by sliding up to big business interests. We exposed this several weeks ago.

But now the underpayment of 7-Eleven employees is being blamed on unfair franchisor contracts. And it’s been the franchisors who’ve been blocking the unfair contract laws. The Abbott government’s deal with the franchisors to con and screw over small business people is backfiring in a spectacular way. More...

Coalition is breaking key small business promise

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Politics works like this. You make big election promises. Then, once in government, appear to deliver the promises. But in the detail kill off the promise. The suckers in the electorate won’t notice!

That’s the situation with the Coalition’s key promise to small business people to extend consumer unfair contract protections to them. We expressed our shock last week.

Grace Collier in The Weekend Australian explained “This bill was supposed to extend some basic rules about commercial contracts (for small businesses) … the government put an exemption in, which pretty much exempts everyone and makes the bill meaningless.” More...

Hard to believe: ICA is opposing the Unfair Contracts Bill

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Since 2010 ICA has campaigned hard for the unfair contract protections available to consumers to be extended to small business people. The Abbott Coalition promised to do this when in opposition and again repeated the promise on winning government.

The Bill is now in Parliament. Yet we’re opposing it! It’s been sent to a Senate Committee for review. Here’s our detailed submission to the Committee.  More...

So big businesses don’t like having their powers cut back. How surprising!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big business is angry that the Abbott government is proposing to make anti-competitive behaviour by them more difficult. New laws would restrict big businesses from abusing their market power. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has hit back saying big business is talking “utter nonsense”. We agree.

Just recently, Coles had to refund $12m to 200 suppliers due to unconscionable conduct by Coles. And the competition regulator (ACCC) is finally responding to evidence of big business cartels in the construction industry. What’s odd is that unions and Labor seem be lining up with big business on this. More...

Quality reform sometimes comes in ‘small’ packages

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sometimes important reforms look ‘small’. One of these is the Federal Small Business Ombudsman Bill that is now before Parliament.

It might look like a minor reform but it’s important. It will fill in gaps where the state Small Business Commissioners don’t have jurisdiction. What’s developing is a fairly comprehensive process that enables small business people to achieve some measure of cheap dispute resolution. This is not only good for small business people but also the broader economy. A well functioning economy needs efficiency in how commercial disputes are fixed.  More...

It’s a small business tax cut budget. But beware the ATO

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This week’s Budget has received wide praise, principally because it’s a ‘small business people budget’. And it deserves praise on this front. Ken Phillips' analysis in Business Spectator explains that it’s a list of seemingly small items that make for one big package for small business people.

The Budget repeats last week’s announcement for start-ups which included: More...

Some small business, common sense, pre-Budget moves

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It came as something of a revelation that if you started a new small business, the professional costs of setting it up—that is, lawyers, accountants, marketing advisers and so on—could not immediately be declared as business tax deductions. No wonder people get angry with the tax system. Just when business expenses bleed money from the start up, the government screws the business.

Well, thankfully, this is to change. In a pre-budget announcement from Treasurer Hockey and Small Business Minister Billson, these expenses will be claimable immediately.  It’s about time we saw some common (tax) sense! More...

Fair Contracts: At last, some good news!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We’ve waited a long time for this. The Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, has released the draft ‘Unfair Contracts Protection’ Bill for small business people. On ICA's first assessment, it ticks all the boxes of really delivering for small business people. This is quite historic, with the positive implications across the economy and for all Australians being more substantial than what people may think.

ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips explains this in an article in Business Spectator today, ‘Small Reform is a Big Deal’. Robert Gottliebsen also gives the news a big wrap, ‘Billson is Bringing Fairness Back to Business’.  More...

Government forces Coles and Woolworths to treat small business with contract fairness

Sunday, March 15, 2015

This month the Federal Small Business Minister, Bruce Billson, released the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.  This is a big step forward for Australian small- and medium-sized businesses supplying to the supermarket sector.

The Code will force the supermarkets, particularly Coles and Woolworths, to have proper contracts with suppliers to which the supermarkets must adhere. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission will monitor the Code. More...

OHS: Harmonized to what?

Sunday, February 01, 2015

You might recall the process to ‘harmonize’ Australia’s work safety laws that unfolded between about 2010 and 2012. ICA campaigned on the issue closely, opposing the harmonized model that was being pushed. The outcome has been bit of a hotch-potch, with WA and Victoria staying out of the process and SA significantly changing the laws. More...

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