Update: PSI Criteria Position

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Since my last post on whether the ALP intends to move ahead with proposed changes to PSI criteria or not for independent contractors here’s an update.

Unfortunately, still no news from the ALP’s Craig Emerson – and none from my local ALP member for Maranoa either – despite he was going to “look into it” and get back to me.

I can share with you the two major parties’ small business policies and have linked them below.

ALP Small Business Policy Statement

Coalition Small Business Policy Statement

Unfortunately, both, typically, represent not much more than political rhetoric. However, the Coalition policy clearly states no change to PSI criteria. The ALP policy re-asserts its pre-2007 promise to make no changes, but says nothing about what could happen after the 2010 election.

So, we’ve yet again hit a brick wall.

I was hoping to squeeze in an interview for the Virtual Business Show with Terri Cooper who held a small business meeting with Ministers for both sides in early August in Brisbane, but we won’t be able to get that done. However, I was surprised to learn that of the small business owners there – one of whom I know was a virtual assistant – NO ONE asked the burning question that will affect us all.

When reading these policies it’s worth bearing in mind that both parties consider ‘small business’ to mean employing more than 20 people. And the ALP’s promised tax cuts will come to fruition only if they get the mining tax through and will only apply to ‘small’ business that is registered as a company.

Micro and small business, yet again are left out. Small business makes up 96% of Australian business – and 60% of these are non-employing businesses.

At the Small Business Summit in July Tony Abbott was asked the question “What do governments consider ‘small’ business?” He admitted that governments will deal only with businesses they can get something out of – naturally. And unfortunately sole ops and independent contractors don’t meet that criteria. Hence why the ALP went to the big four for the mining tax negotiations. Yet the mining industry is one of the largest users of independent contractors.

The clear voice for independent contractors is Independent Contractors Australia. Recently they have been called a ‘front for the Liberal Party’ but so far I think they’ve given the most unbiased coverage of the two parties’ positions. (Incidentally, in 2007 they were accused of being pro-Labor.) You can find a run down of their position here.

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop – www.execstress.com

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