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From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ken Phillips is co-founder and Executive Director of Independent Contractors of Australia. He is a published authority on independent contractor issues and directs research on related commercial and trade practices issues. Through his numerous articles in newspapers and think-tank and academic journals, Ken is known for approaching issues from outside normal perspectives and is frequently sought out for media comment.

Small business policy is greater than the sum of its parts

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It’s a bit of a magician’s act to make something big out of something small. But that’s the task the Abbott Government has put before it in staking so much of its economic credentials on the small business sector.

However, when you realise that over 60 per cent of the workforce work in SMEs, the government is not playing a magician’s game but responding to a hard-core economic reality. As the mining boom winds back, small business has to be a primary target for jobs growth. It’s already been announced that next week’s budget will strongly feature small business incentives. More...


Abbott's 'small' reform step is a big deal

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Abbott Government is moving forward with a microeconomic reform that will prove a comparatively simple and costless measure. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has just released the draft (exposure) Bill to extend unfair contract protections currently available to consumers to small businesspeople.

In initiating this, the government is locking in a central plank of its small business election promise and reform package. The measure has wider and more positive implications for how the economy operates than most people might think. More...


Abbott's policy muddle is taking its toll

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It’s possible that Tony Abbott has finally twigged to just how close he is to being a one-term Prime Minister.

The ousting of the one-term Coalition government in Victoria demonstrates big change. Political commentator Laurie Oakes declared that the political mould is broken. The electorate, he said, is no longer automatically prepared to give a one-term government a second go. More...


Why can’t Colbeck see the wood for the trees?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

There’s an impending ‘disaster’ for around 15,000 small businesses in Australia as a result of the Abbott government's persisting with a Labor/Green ‘environmental’ agenda.

It’s to do with new ‘illegal’ logging laws that come into effect in November this year.

In an effort to save the world’s forests, the Labor/Green alliance, under the Gillard/Rudd governments, passed the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012. It’s one of those regulatory approaches that we saw consistently under Labor and reflects an oppressive, ponderous and impossible-to-comply-with bureaucratic approach to social, environmental or other agendas. It’s a law that lacks the capacity to work in practice. More...


Axe the illegal logging laws

Monday, September 01, 2014

Environmental lobbyists are in panic because there’s the potential in NSW for land-clearing laws to be freed up. They say “extremists” want to give farmers greater rights to clear their farmland for farming.

But look at the “extremism” under federal laws, starting in November, to stop the import of illegally logged timber. The laws are green tape on steroids that put at risk 15,000 small-business people involved in timber product imports. Compliance is impossible, yet people face jail if they don’t comply. More...


Abbott’s competition review will weigh on big business

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

There’s concern from large business interests that in the competition review being organised by the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, big business is going to be unfairly targeted, perhaps even clobbered.

Reflecting this view, Stephen Bartholomeusz last week expressed relief that the review panel is a “surprisingly balanced one" (Muscle and might: A panel to protect Australian competition, March 27). Further, that “the review won’t be loaded against competitors purely because of their size.” More...


Mall for one but not for all

Monday, January 20, 2014

You’ve got to feel sorry for the billionaires and highly paid executives of the multi-billion dollar corporations who own and control Australia’s major shopping centres. At least that’s what you’d take from the article (Mall owners are wrapped in red tape) in Business Spectator last week by their representative lobbyist, Milton Cockburn of the Shopping Centre Council. More...


Saying no to corporate welfare

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to do away with corporate welfare. Thank goodness!

Corporate welfare is effectively a business prop, most frequently for big businesses that aren’t well run. In the last 16 years $30 billion has been given to car manufacturers. What’s that achieved?  Mostly wasted money and painful delays to the ultimate closures of Ford and Holden! More...


Political card tricks

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Small business people lose out under Abbott government. Incompetent big business wins

Last week the Abbott government did two things that signal it as a big business, big union, big government operation. This is probably surprising to most people who thought the Coalition was a union hater. But not so!  More...


Supers big boys need to disclose

Friday, October 04, 2013

The big superannuation funds are at it again. They're campaigning against the one million Australians who own and control self-managed super funds.

The big funds have done this before, under the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments.

There's about $1.6 trillion of Australians' retirement money in superannuation. The industry (union-controlled) funds have 26 per cent. The retail funds (controlled by banks and AMP) have 20 per cent. Ordinary Australians with SMSFs have 31 per cent, or $500 billion. More...



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