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Serious government dysfunction causing great harm

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Looking at politics at the moment one might wonder at how anything functions! And this political dysfunction flows through into government department dysfunction.

Suing the government!
Our truckie friends will be interested in the $600 million class action being organized by farmers over the live cattle export ban in 2011. The Australian’s update is hereMore...


A small bouquet for the ATO

Thursday, June 02, 2016

We frequently complain about the way the ATO treats small business people.  And we are very pleased that the Parliamentary Inquiry into ATO scrutiny has recommended keeping the scrutiny of the ATO.

But we have seen some improvement. We’ve long been critical of the ATO’s ‘contractor/employee’ decision-making tool. But it’s been reviewed, modified and is now looking pretty reasonable. More...


The ATO wants less scrutiny. Are they joking?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Australian Tax Commissioner has been complaining to the Treasurer that the ATO is subject to too much scrutiny. At first, we at ICA thought this was a joke! But no, a parliamentary committee is reviewing whether the ATO needs less scrutiny.

We’re staggered and so we’re responding. We’ve put in a submission saying that, in relation to treatment of small business people, the ATO needs more scrutiny, not less. It’s a long submission but it needs to be.  More...


How powerful institutions try to crush entrepreneurship

Sunday, February 07, 2016

In a recent news alert we discussed the rise of self-employment in the UK and Canada that is making up most of the new jobs in those countries. We discussed how China is discovering that the self-employed are the ‘happiest’ workers. This is part of the pattern of the ‘gig’ economy: Uber, Airbnb and many others creating a new economy. We call it ‘capitalism of the individual’; self-employment.  

This should be a welcome and exciting progression of human economic development. But, around the world, hugely powerful institutions are in the ‘suppression’ game. These institutions are government-funded and pursue their own agendas in a ‘Yes, Minister’ style of control over the political process. 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...


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...


Digging out the ATO: Board of Taxation Review recommendations

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ICA has been running a long campaign against the ATO’s discrimination against self-employed people. In our latest effort we made a submission to the review into the ATO’s administration. More...


Coalition starts to deliver: franchising, the ATO and unfair contracts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014 saw a raft of commitments and undertakings from the Coalition on policies affecting small business and independent contractors. Commitments are fine, but it’s delivery that matters. So it was heartening to see some action in early January—notably with the new franchising code. The Western Australian Council of Small Business (COSBA) was quick to congratulate Minister Bruce Billson on bringing in the new franchise code. ICA agrees with COSBA that this is a hugely important reform that will give thousands of small business franchisees a better deal. More...


UK vs Australia: Government attitudes to self-employment

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What a contrast!

In Britain, the Liberal Democrat Party (the junior coalition party in the British government) has heaped praise on the fact that self-employment in Britain is at a 40-year high of 4.6 million people. It’s the biggest single factor for the jobs growth surge that’s happening in the UK (but not happening in the rest of Europe!) The Lib Dems say that this is a direct result of the policy the government has pushed to make small business, self-employment more viable. More...


A more responsive and client-focused bureaucracy?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It was pleasing to see the recent announcement from Small Business Minister Bruce Billson that there will be ‘Tougher checks on bureaucrats to help small business’ (see this article from The Australian). Billson said:

“We want to ensure the Commonwealth organises itself to be more responsive and client-focused to small business rather than expecting bureaucratic administrative convenience to trump …”   More...



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