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Small Business - Electricity Prices


Nick Mckim

Nick Mckim  -  Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Tags: Small Business, State Budget, Energy

Mr McKIM question to TREASURER, Mr GUTWEIN

There was no new funding allocated in your Budget specifically for small business. For goodness' sake, you could not even bring yourself to mention small business just once in your Budget speech. You could not even pay them simple lip service in your Budget speech.

Do you think it is fair that most major industrial electricity users in Tasmania, whose profits flow into multinational board rooms around the world, can simply threaten to leave the state, thereby panicking governments, including yours, into offering them ever lower electricity prices and cash subsidies, whilst small businesses, which are owned and run by ordinary Tasmania people, who have often take significant personal risk to follow their dreams and passions, pay full retail rate for electricity, clearly hitting them where it hurts? Haven't major industrial electricity consumers an unfair negotiating advantage on power prices over small business, even though small business employs far more people in Tasmania than all the major industrials combined?

Most of your infrastructure spend will take years to roll out the door, so exactly what did your Budget offer in the meantime for small business, which the Premier has described as the engine room of Tasmania's economy? What are you going to do to address the unfair advantage that major industrial have over small business by virtue of their cheap electricity, or do you simple regard them as being too big to fail while you are happy to sit by and watch many small businesses struggle with unfairly high electricity bills?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the Member for his question. Small business will benefit from a growing economy, which is something that side of the House failed to provided. To make it absolutely clear, small business is the big winner out of our Budget last week, because we are building schools, dams and roads. We are investing and small business will largely be the beneficiary. The first home builder boost will see new homes coming out of the ground. Small business is selling carpet and white goods, and providing business services. All those things are ignored conveniently, or perhaps he does not understand how a small business works. That might be the case.

Small business will be a big winner out of this Budget because we are going to see contractors working in Tasmania. We are going to see retail shops, large and small, supplying white goods and carpets for new houses and new schools. The Member completely ignores that this Budget is all about small business.