Only 336 of Canberra’s 30,000 small businesses signed up to the trial ChooseCBR scheme while admin costs were $123,000, it was revealed today.
Business Minister Tara Cheyne disclosed the figures at Estimates, proving the scheme was a dud and must be overhauled.
“I am staggered that $123,000 was spent on admin costs with only $370,000 worth of vouchers redeemed,” Liberals’ Shadow Minister for Business Leanne Castley said.
“Canberra’s struggling small businesses would be appalled.
“Only 336 of Canberra’s 30,000 small businesses signed up for this rushed scheme which is just over one per cent of businesses. What a joke.
“I asked Minister Cheyne how much more would be spent on admin when the $2 million scheme is rolled out and she could not answer.”
Ms Cheyne told Estimates the 336 figure was “not a bad starting point” but added, “I’d like to see it grow”.
“In business your ledger must always be in balance,” Leanne said. “If the sums don’t add up, you take action. If you run a trial that is a dud, you change it.
“You certainly don’t throw good money after bad which is why Minister Cheyne must go back to the drawing board and overhaul this failed ChooseCBR scheme,” Ms Castley concluded.