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Small business ombudsman ‘disappointed’ after being left out of royal commission

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The Small Business Ombudsman says she’s disappointed she hasn’t been called to give evidence at the Banking Royal Commission.

The royal commission is currently probing into lending practices to small business.

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says her office has plenty of “intelligence” to provide the commission.

“We had a period of time, lots longer than they’ve had, to really look at a range of cases and determine what the issues were more across the board,” Ms Carnell tells Ross Greenwood.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get a chance, or we haven’t had a chance at this point anyway, to share that intelligence at least on the stand with the royal commission.”

Ms Carnell still seems to be holding out hope, saying there’s “still a way to go” before the commission concludes.

When it comes to the Australian Tax Office extending its independent review process to small businesses, Ms Carnell says it’s a “step in the right direction”.

Independent reviews are currently only available to companies with a turnover of over $250 million, but will now be extended to businesses worth less than $100 million from July 1.

“For a long time… big business could ask for an independent review of a particular decision that the ATO made,” the Small Business Ombudsman says.

“That was available for big business but it wasn’t available for small business.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview