My Business asked readers about their voting intentions ahead of the election, in a bid to determine whether there was scope for political parties to win them over with business-friendly policies.
Not so, according to the results.
Asked the question “Have you already decided who will get your vote in the upcoming federal election?”, 87.4 per cent of respondents said yes, while just 12.6 per cent answered no.
The poll, which received 278 responses, was conducted on the My Business website, ending on 17 February.
The federal government is yet to formally call an election, although one must be held by 18 May this year, according to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
In 2019, the federal budget will be held on 2 April — a month earlier than its usual time of early May. This has been widely interpreted as the government’s move to use the budget as a pitch to voters and kick off the election campaign for a poll on either Saturday, 11 May, or Saturday, 18 May.
Late last year, the head of a large accounting firm suggested that “the SME space will be a political football in the lead-up to the election”, noting a lot of talk but little real action for the sector, save for the bringing forward of tax cuts for small business and the planned $2 billion securitisation fund.
Business leaders are largely unconvinced about the value of the latter, with many believing that it will do little if anything to deliver a meaningful improvement in their access to finance, a separate My Business poll revealed.
Since the New Year, several policies have already been announced by all sides of politics in a bid to appeal to SMEs, including an extension and increase threshold for the instant asset write-off, a beefing up of unfair contract laws to include hefty penalties on the big end of town, and action on late payments by big business to SME suppliers.
The banking royal commission’s final recommendations have received broad support from both major parties, although the details of how those recommendations will be implemented may also emerge as election issues, such as the debate engulfing the mortgage broking industry over its commissions structure.