Small businesses will find it easier to employ people under a Morrison government plan to cut red tape.
Assistant minister Ben Morton announced the red tape reduction plans in Canberra on Thursday, but also used his speech to whack employers for not supporting the coalition.
“Too often big businesses have been in the frontline on social issues, but missing in action when arguing for policies which would grow jobs and the economy,” the Liberal MP told an Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry event.
“Instead of pretending you love paying tax or that you’re building electric cars rather than mining coal, or are in the solar panel rather than the oil or gas business, tell your employees and the quiet Australians in their communities what you can do for them.”
Mr Morton admitted he didn’t speak up in parliament to support the failed plan to cut corporate tax rates, but he blamed big corporations for his quietness.
“If corporate Australia wasn’t prepared to make the case for tax cuts, why should I,” he said.
“The corporate members of our industry associations need to invest more in making the case to the wider community that they make in the corridors of parliament. Their own employees are a good start.”
Mr Morton said businesses should not be “seduced by the noisy elites” who run activist campaigns.
As well as criticising corporations for not loudly supporting the coalition, Mr Morton also said a task force will look at ways to reduce the regulatory burden on food exporters.
“Our second priority is getting beneficial major infrastructure projects up and running sooner,” Mr Morton said.
The third priority is making it easier for sole traders and micro businesses to become first-time employers.
“Employing someone can be daunting with many steps, including fulfilling legal obligations, salary, tax and superannuation and workers’ compensation obligations,” Mr Morton said.
Right-wing lobby the Institute of Public Affairs said red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion each year in foregone economic output.
“Cutting red tape will allow more young Australians to realise their dream of starting their own business,” research director Daniel Wild said.
Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the government has zeroed in on the right sectors.
“The government should also use digital technology and single touch portals to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance and we encourage jurisdictions to adopt best practice and learn from each other,” she said.
ACCI chief executive James Pearson said his members would help the government find regulations to roll back.