Standing up for Canberra

Canberra's small businesses left out of Joe Hockey's plan

Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, today used his National Press Club address to reaffirm his plans to cut thousands of jobs from the public service in Canberra.

Ironically, he used the same speech to highlight the plight of Australia’s small businesses.

But what of Canberra’s small businesses that rely on the public service Canberra’s largest employer?

In 1996, John Howard cut over 30,000 jobs from the public service, cutting $25,000 from Canberra house prices, pushing our unemployment rate up an entire percentage point and causing an extra 100 personal bankruptcies each year.

The flow on effects to Canberra’s small business community were devastating. 30,000 job cuts meant 30,000 people no longer frequenting Canberra’s small businesses; buying their products and using their services. Business bankruptcies in Canberra increased by 38.4 per cent in the 1996/97 financial year.

With at least 20,000 public servants set to go should Tony Abbott win in September, Canberra’s small businesses will again face the ramifications of the Liberals’ savage cuts.

It seems Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott have one plan for small businesses in other states, and a different one for Canberra’s.