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Op-ed: What does the new National flavoured government mean for small business owners?

NZ parliament building

National is the party of business owners and the economy so what are we seeing in their plans for us?

We will all benefit from the headline tax cuts outlined, and particularly if we own a rental property. The removal of interest deductibility, ring fencing of losses and the brightline test was heavy handed under the last government. This government will remove some of these more onerous provisions which will definitely bring a sigh of relief to residential landlords.  This may have the knock on effect of at least reducing future rent increases. 

The issue with the tax cuts (who doesn’t love a little more money in their pocket) is the inflation spectre still haunting us. Anything inflationary will keep interest rates higher for longer. 

This is just plain bad news for business, unless you’re a bank, in which case, it’s great news! Every dollar spent on interest is a dollar not available for business investment, it’s as simple as that. I really hope that the new government balances the inflationary effects of tax cuts with the cutting of public spending which they have promised. Let’s also hope they can find those reductions from the ‘back room’ and not from our teachers and nurses.

The proposed changes to employment law is good news for business owners. The re-introduction of the 90 day employment trial and the removal of the Fair Pay Agreements signal a change in the balance of power between employee and employer. It will make it easier to employ more people with less risk to the business.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the infrastructure and productivity spheres. National is promising a lot more of both. We certainly need more productivity (and infrastructure can deliver part of that), but can the government do anything useful in this arena? They haven’t previously but maybe this new government will find some levers to pull. I hope so.  

There are myriad other possible changes and improvements (100 in total) but a few that caught my eye are:

  • Global tech visa - as an employer of tech people, I know the value of this provision
  • Changing the tax treatment for share options - also a good one for Kiwi businesses wanting to attract (or retain) global talent
  • Some good ones for improving our international connections, like supporting the tourism industry, reaching out to new markets

There’s a lot to absorb, and not everything will happen, or make a difference, but overall, it looks like this will be a more business friendly government. Let’s hope that it is also positive for the integrity and well being of our whole nation and people, otherwise we will all be worse off. A positive economic picture is only successful if we are all raised up and brought together as a country.

Sue de Bièvre

Sue de Bièvre

Beany Co-Founder

An intrepid entrepreneur and feminist with a penchant for disruption; spotting problems and rolling her sleeves up to fix them makes Sue tick.

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