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The National Farmers Federation had responded to uncertainty that the instant asset write-off, which supports farmers to invest in assets like tanks and solar water pumps, will have a place in a Coalition Government after 2023.

NFF CEO, Tony Mahar, said, “The small business instant asset write-off was a stroke of genius by the current Government when introduced along with dedicated provisions for agriculture in 2015. 

“Farmers must have certainty about its future, under either a Coalition or Labor Government.

“The measure helps provide the means and incentive for farmers to invest in the plant they need to gain efficiencies and improve productivity; to be more resilient, sustainable and to make their workspaces safer and less labour orientated.

“It supports farmers to invest in assets like tanks and solar water pumps to be better prepared for the next drought; to adopt safer farm equipment like side-by-side vehicles and to extend wifi across farms to enable digital adoption.”

Mr Mahar questioned why the Coalition would consider doing away with a tried and tested policy that had so successfully served farmers and other small businesses, including through the hardships of drought, bushfires and COVID.

Council of Small Business of Australia CEO, Alexi Boyd, said the reluctant admission by the Minister would be the subject of discussion in small businesses across the country.

“Minister Birmingham’s comments yesterday will have left many small business owners feeling stressed,” Mr Boyd said. 

“A baseline instant asset write-off should be a permanent fixture of the tax system as it reduces accounting costs for small businesses and their trusted advisors, as well as the red tape associated with the need to depreciate assets.

“One major problem with letting the program expire in June 2023 is that we’re in the midst of an international supply chain crisis. 

“We’re seeing massive delays in the delivery of freight, so there is a very real possibility that small business owners who order equipment or other kinds of assets in the near future won’t receive them before the instant asset write-off expires. 

“At the very least, the program needs to be extended to account for this.”

Both peak bodies implore the Government to clarify and reconsider the misguided decision and call on Labor to confirm its support for the measure.

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