Small business returns to Coalition cabinet, with appointment of Michaelia Cash
This week’s appointment of the Coalition cabinet brought with it a restoration of sorts, with a minister for small business now securing a place at the cabinet table for the first time since 2015.
After the portfolio was ditched from the cabinet ensemble under Turnbull in 2015, its reinstatement with the appointment of Michaelia Cash to the role is being applauded by the small business community.
“When you’re not around the cabinet table, you don’t ever have the same influence as people that are there,” explains Peter Strong, CEO at the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia.
“Turnbull said that everyone there should represent small business, but they don’t. Now we’ve got someone there that will focus on us. It’s fantastic.”
Though a traditional advocate for small business and the entrepreneurial spirit, there are fears the Liberal Party might not live up to the big small business game they’ve been touting this week.
“Something we’re always worried about is part of the Liberal Party, who is influenced by big business and ideologues. They don’t care about small business. The Liberals have got to ignore them. We still believe in a free market. But the extreme laissez-faire economists, they favour small business and they always will.”
Strong went on to outline some of the changes he hopes this cabinet position will cultivate for small business, who is struggling under the weight of rising cost of living, red tape and skyrocketing power prices.
“We need to fix a disconnect. The educational training that’s being done doesn’t suit the local economy. We need to train to reflect the needs of industry, not the needs of the training sector, but the needs of the people who will provide the jobs.”
“Also power prices. Something like half of small business in Australia say they might not to be able to survive without a change in energy policy.”
“They are really struggling.”
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