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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.

In this respect we constantly see attacks against self-managed superannuation funds by the big super funds. They are looking to restrict ordinary people from having their own SMSFs.  That’s why we’ve joined the SMSF Owners Alliance in a joint statement with six other associations to the current tax review.

And we’re fairly happy with the government’s Small Business Ombudsman Bill. The important thing is that small business people will have access to dispute mediation if they are in dispute with a big business or a government department. In our submission to the Senate review we’re asking for stronger powers so that mediation:
  • is compulsory for Commonwealth agencies;
  • is required before legal proceedings are taken;
  • services are low cost; and
  • attendance is compulsory.
But now for some big bureaucracy silliness! If you want to change your company details, you go to the ASIC website. Its User Guide is 148 pages long. And if you’re an ASIC agent, that User Guide is 189 pages. Talk about making complex what should be simple!

In Estonia it takes two minutes and five clicks to complete an online tax return. In addition, Estonians can do the following online: set up businesses, sign contracts, obtain prescriptions, manage pensions, apply for visas and even vote. Ah well—we can but dream about such efficiency in Australia!


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