Fighting the banks on higher EFTPOS fees

We are continuing to lobby federal politicians on the EFTPOS fee changes bring brought in by EPAL, the company owned by the banks plus Coles and Woolworths, later this year.

The changes which are set to come into effect later this year will impact small business retailers, like our customers, considerably.  They look set to provide Coles and Woolworths with a competitive advantage.

So, we are maintaining our email and letter campaign to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to ensure that they are fully aware of the potential impact on small and independent retailers. We are doing this with the knowledge of how much the changes will affect businesses like those we serve.  It is considerable given the trigger points established b the recent EPAL decision.

We are working closely with Tyro as well as the Australian Newsagents’ Federation on this.

So far, we have responses from six politicians.  The each say they will raise it further within their respective parties.  With others lobbying on this issue too we can only hope that those who can impact on the decision which has been made will act.

This is a big business versus small business fight.  We are squarely in the corner of small business, small and independent retailers in particular.

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No Tax break for software

We have received a response from Joe Hockey’s office from our lobbying re the 50% tax break for small business available until December 31, 2009.  It was an off the shelf answer just as we got from the Treasurer’s office a few weeks ago.

I had hoped that the Opposition might understand the opportunity on this issue.  It goes to productivity, small business, Australian made software and boosting the business sector.  Lots of boxes ticked there.

Politicians don’t get the important of software to business and small business in particular.  They don’t get that it is odd that a small business can get a tax break for buying a painting but not for buying software which improves the financial performance of the business.

Software companies are not helping their own cause on this – as I understand is, not many have complained about the treatment of software in terms of the tax break.

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Rudd government misses the point on the tax break

I have been engaged in correspondence with the Treasurer’s office on the exclusive of software in their tax break legislation.  The latest letter from the Office of the Treasurer is spin and does not answer the issues I put to them.  While they can answer any way they choose, they have missed an opportunity here to improve the efficiency of many small businesses.

I love their excuse for excluding software, it is something my mother never liked – they point to the behaviour of others.

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Government fails Australian software companies

The Federal Government is beating its chest about the announcement last night to increase the tax break for capital investment in small business – from 30% to 50% for items purchased prior to the end of this year.  The joint press release from the treasurer and Minister for Small business outlines examples:

The increased Tax Break provides small businesses with an even greater incentive to invest in new capital items, such as computer hardware and business vehicles, and to make capital improvements to existing machinery and equipment.

While the 50% tax break is an incentive, I’d note that computer hardware without any form of software is no investment at all. 

If the government was serious about helping small business improve productivity they would have extended the temporary tax break to business software, especially Australian business software.

Smart business software, like that developed and sold by Tower Systems, coupled with quality hardware and appropriate training could help a small business better cope with the challenges of today’s marketplace.  Indeed, good software could help small businesses more effectively compete.

This is a missed opportunity by the Federal Government.  I was one of only a handfull of software representatives to make a submission on this.  Unfortunately it did not achieve its goal.

That said, we will make the most of what we have and help our small business newsagent, gift shop, jeweller and bike retailer customers access their Tax Break.

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Government ignores Australian software developers

The Small Business and General Business Tax Break Bill introduced by the Federal Government in parliament this week does not provide a tax break for the purchase of business software and in doing so ignores the Australian software industry.

The government had an excellent opportunity to support the software industry and the jobs its provides.  I figured they would seize the opportunity given the hundreds of millions they have thrown at overseas companies – automakers for example.  Instead, they ignored us.

I am disappointed because I provided a written submission which I thought made a good case for the inclusion of software.  I expect many other software companies made similar submissions.

The economic knock-on from greater than natural growth in software sales would have been significant – business productivity improves, software companies investmmore in R&D and so on…

This is a missed opportunity.

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