A win for small business after Liberal backflip - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

ANDREW LEIGH
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR BRAND

A WIN FOR SMALL BUSINESS AFTER LIBERAL BACK FLIP

After three years of fighting against it, the Liberals have finally backed in Labor’s Small Business Access to Justice policy, which helps small business to bring cases of anti-competitive behaviour to court.

Scott Morrison was forced into a humiliating back down on the issue today, less than a week after Mathias Cormann conceded that the Government didn’t have the numbers to block the amendment in the Senate.

Currently, small businesses are less likely to take up private litigation against anti-competitive behaviour. Big businesses have deep pockets and armies of lawyers, so the risk of small businesses being bankrupted by legal fees is a significant disincentive to taking action against anti-competitive conduct.

Labor’s Access to Justice policy will level the playing field by allowing a small business to request a ‘no adverse costs order’ early in a court case. If the judge decides that the case is in the public interest, the small business won’t have the risk of paying the other side’s costs if they lose.

Labor has been pushing for this change for years. We announced it in the lead up to the 2016 election. We put it forward as a Private Senators Bill in 2017, when the Coalition voted against it.

Today’s vote shows how desperate Scott Morrison has become. He does not believe in small business – he believes in doing whatever he can to cling to power. Scott Morrison has been dragged kicking and screaming to this measure. He has been forced to vote for it, just as he had to be forced to back a banking royal commission after voting against it 26 times.

Scott Morrison has lost control of the Parliament.

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra


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