Post-Budget hits and misses according to Pin Payments’ Co-CEO Chris Dahl

Post-Budget hits and misses according to Pin Payments’ Co-CEO Chris Dahl

By Chris Dahl (pictured), Co-CEO of Pin Payments

Chalmers’ budget delivered some wins for Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses, but fundamentally failed to address the major impacts rising costs and inflation has had on small business survival. Energy bill relief packages and the instant asset write off extensions are roll-over schemes from last year’s budget, and aren’t sufficient enough to provide much-need financial relief for businesses owners. Schemes which directly address the economic challenges small businesses are facing were needed, yet small businesses were delivered a rehash of many of last year’s packages.



Small businesses owners have been under more pressure than ever due to inflation and rising costs, so the $10.8 million investment in extending the Small Business Debt Helpline and the NewAccess for Small Business Owners programs, is a welcome relief. Business owners face increased risks of poor mental health given the stresses that sit alongside running a business, so the continued support of the government is a must in these difficult economic times.


The government’s support of payment time reforms to ensure small businesses are paid faster is greatly needed. The $25.3 million to implement a range of reforms in this area, including granting the Payment Time Reporting Regulator’s resourcing and its information technology systems, will help cash flow management through turbulent economic times.


The government has committed $23.3 million to support increased eInvoicing adaptation to disrupt scams, which is promising. However, given Australian businesses lost a record $29.5 million to scams in 2023 alone, this scheme alone is not enough to combat the increasing problem of fraud and cybersecurity faced by small businesses.




Schemes which directly address the financial challenges facing small businesses, and the impacts this has on their survival, should have been included in the budget. 


Australia’s startup sector was largely overlooked in this year’s budget, with the cost of living crisis overshadowing innovation or growth. There was no mention of the previous Boosting Female Founders (BFF) or any other startup funding or support. This is disappointing given the minimal support and funding currently available for female founders in Australia. 


Surprisingly, there was little mention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in this year’s budget, apart from $21.6 million for reshaping the National AI Centre (NAIC), and creating an AI advisory body within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR). This budget has overlooked the significance of training, education and skills in future technology and artificial intelligence. Australia is already lagging behind other countries in its AI adoption, innovation and use. The lack of future funding in this budget makes it clear that this will continue. Likewise, training for future industries and jobs, to prevent unemployment and job losses due to AI, should be a priority to future-proof Australia.