News Pulse for June 5, 2018

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

Big business creates jobs

Big business has created the lion’s share of jobs since the government started cutting company tax for small firms in 2015, suggesting the cuts haven’t been enough to spur small firms to hire.

Firms with fewer than 20 staff, which employ 44 per cent workers, generated less than 18 per cent of the new jobs since the Coalition started cutting the company tax rate in July 2015. Small business employment increased 0.9 per cent to 4.77 million over the two years to July 2017, while total ­employment rose 2.3 per cent to 10.88 million.

How this fintech startup chief facilitated $50 million in Australian business loans without stepping foot in the country

Business loan marketplace Lending Express launched in Australia in 2016, and since then it’s facilitated $50 million in small business loans. But it was only last month that co-founder and chief executive Eden Amirav first set foot on Australian soil.

Now the Israeli startup has secured $US2.8 million ($3.7 million) in funding, Amirav has plans to further improve the artificial intelligence-enabled platform, and to get his message to even more Aussies.

Small business hardest hit by rising minimum wage.

The Fair Work Commission today delivered its annual wage review – the highest percentage we’ve seen since 2011. This decision will have a significant impact on all businesses and industries and over 2.3 million employees who are paid at the National Minimum Wage or minimum Modern Award rates.

From the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2018 all Modern Award rates will increase by 3.5 per cent (with weekly wages rounded to the nearest $0.10) and the National Minimum Wage will increase by 3.5 per cent to $18.93 per hour (and $719.20 per week for a full-time employee), an increase of $0.64 per hour for the hourly rate

Not every business failure is the banks’ fault

Okay, now it’s getting ridiculous. The banking royal commission has exposed some appalling behaviour by the banks, but not every poor decision of a customer is the bank’s fault . If an elderly parent goes guarantor for a loan there can be consequences if the loan is not repaid. That’s what going guarantor entails. If a couple on a modest income borrows a million dollars to buy properties and can’t service the loan, what is the bank supposed to do – say it’s alright, keep the money?

When the government of the day responds to the royal commission’s findings and recommendations, it will be under pressure to remedy every hardship case and to legislate to ensure none arises in the future. That pressure is unlikely to come from the commission itself, since the submissions of counsel assisting so far seem reasonable and responsible. Rather, it will come from the media covering dissatisfied complainants and from the political party that is in opposition at the time.

Fireys’ pay deal to be reviewed

The Turnbull government has had a win as it intervenes to tear up a pay deal for Victorian firefighters, with the Fair Work Commission agreeing to hear the government’s challenge.

Almost two months after Small Business Minister Craig Laundy intervened to block the Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s pay deal progressing through the FWC, Fair Work deputy president Val Gostencnik has agreed to hear his case.

Home offices, work claims and crypto: What’s on the ATO’s hit list this July

From home office expenses to income from sharing economy platforms, the Australian Taxation Office looks to be casting its net wide when it comes to areas of focus during 2018 tax time.

On Monday, ATO Australian Taxation Office Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson told Fairfax the tax office will be looking at a range of problematic areas this year, including cryptocurrency ownership and earnings from platforms like Uber.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.


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