Most SMEs are broadly satisfied with this year’s federal budget. My Business can reveal, however, that the vast majority of firms are ambivalent about its impacts on their business or unsure of what it will mean.
A sample poll launched on the My Business website coinciding with the release of the 2018 budget asked readers to rate the impact the measures announced will have on the growth prospects of their business.
At the time of publishing (4.29pm on Wednesday, 9 May), those who believed the impacts would be positive (25.25 per cent) outweigh those with a more negative view by more than two to one (10.61 per cent).
However a third of business leaders (32.32 per cent) feel their business has effectively been left out of any budget goodies, meaning the budget will not change their business or its prospects going forward.
The remaining 31.82 per cent are unsure what impact the measures will have on their business — or their uncertainty could relate to whether the measures will actually see the light of day, given they have to first pass through parliament.
Nevertheless, 42.42 per cent of respondents are satisfied overall with this year’s budget, compared with 28.28 per cent who said they were unimpressed. Some 29.29 per cent are still unsure.
Government finds support in “election budget”
This year’s budget was touted as being more important for the government than in previous years due to the fact that a federal election is due to be held in 2019, and this is believed to be the last budget before that election is held.
As such, many commentators suggested it would be aimed at shoring up votes as much — if not more than — ensuring prudent spending.
Within the SME community, that appears to have paid off. While 44.95 per cent said the budget had no bearing on who they would vote for, 23.23 per cent of business owners said they are now more likely to vote for the government.
That marks a net gain for the government of 6.56 per cent of the business community, given that just 16.67 per cent said they are now less likely to support the government at the polls.