Senator Matt Canavan: "Small is Beautiful"

QUEENSLAND Senator Matt Canavan has called for more support for small farmers, small businesses and families in a speech tonight. 

“I want try to make sure all Australians can choose their own job, buy their own home, start their own business or have their own family. For each small Australian to be big, they must be free from big government, big banks, big unions and big corporations,” Senator Canavan said in his maiden speech in the Senate.

"Small farms and small businesses allow more Australians to have a stake in their country. Smaller towns provide greater community spirit and become their own hives of innovation. The smallest social unit of society, the family, is the most important one for us all.

“To protect the small, we need to create more jobs, boost productivity, protect small business and make it easier for families to buy their own home.”

In his speech, Senator Canavan supported stronger competition laws, superannuation changes and income splitting, and he called for a “national productivity agenda”.

“We need a new national productivity agenda to bring down the costs of doing business, to boost productivity and to create good, well-paying jobs,” Senator Canavan said. “Higher productivity is the only viable way to lift the standard of living over the long term,”

Senator Canavan said competition laws are too focused on protecting against monopoly power but just as economically ruinous can be too much buying power.

“Too low prices can be just as detrimental as too high prices because they lead to lower supply and reduce incentives to invest in new technologies. To protect small businesses we need stronger competition laws like an effects test, low-cost arbitration processes and stronger penalties for dominant businesses that do the wrong thing.”

Senator Canavan said young people should be able to use superannuation to buy a home.

“Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for my generation. We make it harder for young people by forcing them to put 9.5% of their income into a savings account they may not be able to access until they are 65. We should free up the rules around superannuation so young people can use their income and savings to buy their first home.”

Senator Canavan said he supported a tax system that recognises the family.

“Not all families are treated equally under our tax system. Single-income families in Australia can pay up to $10,000 more per year than a double-income family with the same household income. We should look to introduce a form of income-splitting similar to other countries.”

16 July 2014

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