News Pulse for February 13, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

‘Don’t scrap minimum wage, but exempt microbusiness’

While business owners are, for the most part, reluctant to scrap the minimum wage, recent debate highlights scope for reforms to make it fairer, including an exemption for microbusinesses.

A recent opinion piece in My Business elicited many strong opinions on the idea of scrapping the minimum wage in favour of an overhauled version. Some business owners eagerly defended the current legislative minimum standard, saying that it serves to prevent even more workers from being exploited than are already slipping through the cracks.

Committee endorses visa worker levy but Kate Carnell warns of angst for small businesses

A Senate committee has deemed it ‘wholly appropriate’ that employers pay a levy to access overseas workers; however, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, considers this “another blow” for small businesses.

In October, last year, the Federal Government introduced the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 and the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017 into Parliament, with a view to addressing concerns about the displacement of Australian workers.

NPP to open new FinTech growth

Disruption is streaming through the arteries of Australia’s financial institutions as they attempt to ward off new payments giants like Apple, adapt to FinTech athleticism and a new open banking regime, and serve up a long awaited instantaneous payment project.

This month, the New Payments Platform (NPP) – which was proclaimed way back in mid-2013 – rolls out with bank customers already getting notifications from their financial institutions, including the Big Four, to sign up for the PayID that enables the system.

Royal Commission receives influx of complaints about super

Around 17 per cent of the submissions received by the Royal Commission into banking, superannuation and the financial services industry so far relate to matters involving superannuation.

In the initial public hearing for the Royal Commission, senior counsel assisting the commission Rowena Orr QC said out of the 385 submissions received through the online form on the commission’s website, 49 per cent relate to banking, 18 per cent relate to superannuation, 6 per cent relate to the general insurance market and 6 per cent relate to the total permanent disability insurance market.

Business needs ‘social contract’: Rudd

Kevin Rudd says corporate Australia needs to enter into a “social contract” with workers if it wants to win over opponents of proposed business tax cuts.

As Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 accused Labor of threatening wage rises by blocking corporate tax cuts, the former prime minister said it was up to business to say clearly how the nation would benefit.

Open banking a blueprint for a new data economy

Senior Treasury officials say the “open banking” report by King & Wood Mallesons partner Scott Farrell is one of the best policy documents they have ever seen produced by a professional in the private sector. It needed to be, given its implications.

Open banking will empower a customer to direct their bank to send their data to another provider. It promises to level the competitive playing field by reducing the costs of account switching and facilitating price discovery.

Incubator support to help build globally competitive businesses | Ministers’ Media Centre, Australian Government

Dozens of new Australian businesses will receive help to transform their ideas into globally competitive businesses as a result of the Turnbull Government’s Incubator Support initiative.

The funding, which totals $1.78 million, will be provided to four innovative incubators to boost new businesses in key sectors like biotechnology, medtech and advanced materials.

Letters: Workplace relations, Churchill and stockmarket volatility

Small Business and Workplace Minister Craig Laundy seems to think it will win him support if he speaks out against workplace rights and protections (“Coalition urges employers to fight wage calls”, February 9). On this he is grossly mistaken.

There are thousands of small business owners, such as owner drivers, who are clamouring for more rights, not less. Among them are the drivers with Tip Top, the bread manufacturer exposed recently for forcing drivers to struggle with weekly cuts to pay of up to $1000.

Public consultation on draft legislation to toughen the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

If a multinational corporation makes money in Australia, it’s only right that they pay tax in Australia, which is why the Turnbull Government has introduced new laws to close loopholes and ensure profits are taxed here.

Today the Government has released for public consultation new Exposure Draft legislation and draft Explanatory Memorandum to implement the Government’s 2017-18 Budget announcement that it would toughen the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL).

Open banking a blueprint for a new data economy

Senior Treasury officials say the “open banking” report by King & Wood Mallesons partner Scott Farrell is one of the best policy documents they have ever seen produced by a professional in the private sector. It needed to be, given its implications.

Open banking will empower a customer to direct their bank to send their data to another provider. It promises to level the competitive playing field by reducing the costs of account switching and facilitating price discovery.

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