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Cut tax on small business by 5pc: Bill Shorten

Labor would cut the tax on small business to 25 per cent and
place a greater emphasis on science and technology, according to Opposition Leader
Bill Shorten.

Speaking in his budget reply speech last night, Shorten (pictured) said
he is offering the government a bipartisan opportunity to help small

He called on the government to not cut small business tax by
just 1.5 per cent, as Treasurer Joe Hockey announced in his budget speech on
Tuesday, but by 5 per cent.

Shorten said such a move would deliver “real confidence” to
small businesses.

As AAP reports, Prime Minister Tony Abbott rejected the offer
of bipartisanship and said Shorten was peddling false hope with a recycled

“They throw around these commitments but never actually
deliver on them,” he told Radio 2GB.

“Last night it wasn’t a plan, it was just a wish

The proposal was cautiously welcomed by the Australian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

“[Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s] proposal for a 5
percentage point cut for tax to small business would make Australia’s company
tax rate for those businesses more competitive by global standards,” Kate
Carnell AO, CEO of the ACCI, said in a statement.

However, she also pointed out that Labor has refused to pass
some savings measures will make it harder to bring the Budget back into

“It is concerning to see that Labor may oppose some of the
other measures in the Budget. Australia has endured more than a year of
uncertainty over the fate of proposals from the previous Budget, and it would
be damaging for business confidence for the gridlock to continue,” she said.

As the SMH reports, Shorten also announced that Labor would
aim to bolster Australia’s standing in the fields of Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

For example, under a Labor Government students in STEM
fields who complete their degrees would do so free of charge and be given access
to 25,000 teacher scholarships to encourage them to teach in those fields.

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