SMEs not so impressed by budget

Less than half of Australian SMEs consider the tax cuts announced in Tuesday’s budget to be a positive development, according to a survey of more than 1,000 business owners.

The survey, conducted by Reckon, revealed just 44 per cent of business owners surveyed saw the tax cuts as a positive development, while one in five surveyed said the changes would affect them negatively.

However, this is a significant boost in sentiment compared to Reckon’s pre-budget polling, which revealed 37 per cent of SMEs were anticipating new policies would negatively affect their bottom line.

The lowering of the tax rate to 27.5 per cent from 28.5 per cent for small businesses was considered as having the most positive impact, with 39 per cent of survey respondents citing this as the most valuable improvement.

Extending access to instant write-offs for equipment purchases was the second highest ranking result (31 per cent).

The budget is also expected to deliver further employment opportunities and job creation with 11 per cent of SMEs reporting that, as a direct result of the new policies, additional staff hiring will be possible.

Reckon CEO Clive Rabie said the increase in SME sentiment is good news for the Australian economy.

“We have seen previously that businesses felt their views on how to improve business conditions were not being heard,” he said.

“This budget marks the second SME-friendly package in the past two years and will deliver significant tax breaks, which directly challenges the perception that the government is not interested in small business," he continued.

“Australian SMEs are the engine room of the economy, so it is hard to understate the importance of positive sentiment which is increasingly expressed by businesses at the moment."

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