Bill Shorten makes a pitch for small business

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has given a pitch to small businesses in a bid to improve Labor's fortunes in Saturday's West Australian Senate by-election.

The pitch, reported in the West Australian on Wednesday, centred on relaxing regulatory reporting for small business.

Mr Shorten, who is yet to reveal the official policy, indicated business with a turnover less than $2 million would only have to fill out business activity statements annually, rather than quarterly.

It would also allow "micro-businesses" and new start-ups to report just a "four line" financial statement annually to government.

His pitch came as Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with his "razor gang", or expenditure review committee, as the government prepares for its first budget in six weeks.

While Treasurer Joe Hockey has been laying the groundwork for widespread budget cuts, Mr Abbott again hit out at opposition to his plans to repeal the carbon tax on Wednesday.