Tackle regulation to increase jobs growth

Addressing excessive regulations in the small business sector could be the answer to improving their finances and increasing their ability to hire, NAB has claimed. The bank has submitted a number of recommendations to Federal Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, which it believes will help small businesses during their time of need.

"Our plan for deregulation in the SME sector offers practical and achievable solutions for governments to act on," said NAB Group Executive Business Banking Angela Mentis.

She believes that banks should work closely with the Australian Taxation Office to streamline processes for small firms, such as business activity statements (BAS) and income tax returns. These both have the potential to create problems for firms and take up time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Ms Mentis continued: "If the government and banks work together, we could make real inroads into automating GST and income tax payments using emerging technology for small business, eliminating BAS and income tax returns."

NAB stressed that the right regulation has the potential to improve competition and give consumers greater choice. However, excessive red tape can have quite the opposite effect and negatively impact not only on a firm's bottom line, but also its ability to make use of productivity solutions.

Opportunities for employment do nevertheless appear to be growing across Australia, as identified in the latest ANZ Job Ads series.

Between October and November, job listings marked a rise of 0.7 per cent, meaning the index has now been trending higher for the past 13 months. Newspaper job ads declined 5.4 per cent month-on-month, although this was slightly offset by the rise in roles being advertised online.

ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan warned that companies are likely to find themselves up against a number of recruitment challenges moving into the new year.

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