We’re two weeks out from the federal election and the Labor party have announced their package to woo the vote of business owners, as well as workers on the top and bottom of the age spectrum, by offering an incentive to employ younger and older workers.

Under Labor’s plan, a small business will gain an extra 30% tax deduction on the wage of employees aged under 25 or over 55, if they have been unemployed for at least three months, or they are a carer returning to the workforce.

This is the first sign the ALP has offered that they realise 5.7 million Australians either run a small business or are employed by one, and are looking to secure those votes.

On face value, I’d take it as a win.

I also note that this is the first election promise from either side that I’ve seen, that will actually put money back into the pockets of small businesses.

The Coalition’s instant asset write off scheme offers a tax cut, but in order to take advantage of it, a small business must have the cash to spend in the first place. This tax rebate from Bill Shorten is the first promise we’ve heard that will actually help small business cashflow.

Of course, as is always the case when a government (or potential government) tries to socially engineer policy, there will be cries of discrimination. The fact is, this policy is discriminatory, in favour of younger and older workers.

Some will argue that this discrimination is warranted, as will Bill Shorten and the ALP.

In my view, regardless of age, gender, or anything else, jobs should be offered based entirely on merit: when I hire, I want the best person for the job.