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Industry Veteran argues small business cabinet seat is token move

March 2012 | Servcorp

Moufarrige said the Gillard Government's decision to give small business a boost to cabinet level is long overdue, and small compensation for the government policies that have left many SMBs struggling and unable to compete internationally.

"A seat at the Cabinet table is welcome news for the small business community. Unfortunately, while government policies continue to deliver artificially high labour costs, it can only be viewed as a token appointment," he said.

Moufarrige also raised concerns about new Small Business Minister Brendan O'Connor's credentials, pointing to his serving as Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union and Minister for Employment Participation during the creation of the Fair Work Australia policy, as well as his chairing of the Labor's Industrial Relations Taskforce.

"Brendan O'Connor appears to have dangerously little experience that would offer him insight into the experience of small business in Australia," he added.

Any minister keen to represent small business needs to pursue policies promoting small business growth and innovation, Moufarrige said, adding that the sector needs help to overcome issues posed by the two-speed economy.

Current government policies were serve only to stifle small business through high costs of labour, high taxes and a 'big government' approach, he added.

"Unless Minister O'Connor has the inclination and ability to bring about a policy change, the competitiveness of Australian small business will suffer under his watch."