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CPA’s pre-budget submission: SMEs should not walk away “empty-handed”

CPA Australia’s pre-budget submission recommends funding and changes related to migration, tax reform, non-profit and small/medium business supports, climate change and emissions and the economy.

CPA Australia’s senior manager business and investment policy Gavan Ord says “we expect the economy to slow this year as interest rate rises bite deeper. Business and consumer confidence is likely to slip. With that in mind, we need to see action in this budget to improve Australia’s economic outlook.”

“These are challenging economic times. Our members are expecting the number of insolvencies to rise in 2023 and 2024. Cybersecurity breaches, supply chain disruptions and the effects of the pandemic are likely to continue. This budget is an opportunity to help businesses address risks and prepare themselves for opportunities.”

“Treasurer Jim Chalmers positioned last year’s Federal Budget as the first of a two-part approach. This is the second act and it needs to live up to expectations by providing well-considered and rounded responses.”

“Small businesses should not have to walk away from this Federal Budget empty-handed. We want a clear plan for the transition to renewable energy, support for businesses and charities and early action on insolvencies.”

Tackling a surge of insolvencies

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“The budget should include measures to tackle the expected increase in insolvencies.”

“Companies in trouble usually display several red flags. Additional funding should be given to ASIC to enable visits to companies showing signs of hardship. These visits would help raise directors’ awareness of their duties and encourage businesses in distress to seek advice before it is too late.”

“The Federal Government should launch a program funding incentive payments for businesses and charities to access professional advice. Businesses and charities face significant risks and they need regulatory certainty, stability and access to expert advice. Unfortunately, our members are telling us that many businesses and charities cannot afford the advice they need. We need the Federal Government to help businesses and charities speak to their trusted advisors.”

Greenflation and renewables risks

“Cost of living pressures continue to bite. As the Federal Government seeks to quickly transitions our economy to renewable energy there will be costs involved. We may see “greenflation” from the additional investment required to achieve emissions targets.”

“The public needs information about the cost of transitioning. Businesses need certainty. The government must tell us what cost pressures we may face and when. We need a publicly available renewables transition plan with clear interim goals, targets and metrics.”

“We support action on climate change but we also want a plan for businesses and workers in industries that will be hurt by the transition. If the government fumbles, we could see many Australians left behind. Australia could be left with a Rust Belt region of unemployed workers and overlooked communities.”

“This budget should establish a long-term fund that invests in the small businesses and communities likely to be hurt by the transition to renewables. The budget should commit funds to re-skilling and assisting workers who will be left struggling due to declines in their industries.”

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