SME business owners have cast doubts over whether the Abbott Government will deliver on its promises for the SME sector, according to a recent survey by Bibby Financial Services.
Conducted by CoreData in February, the Bibby Financial Services SME Barometer found that almost 38 per cent of SMEs believe the soon to be detailed Federal Budget will do nothing for the small business sector and only 17 per cent think it will be a strong budget that supports small business. Around one in four SMEs believes the budget will simply be aimed at bribing voters.
According to Bibby, Victorian SMEs (42 per cent) are most pessimistic about tonight’s Budget, closely followed by Western Australian SMEs (39 per cent), Queensland (37 per cent), and South Australia and NSW (both 32 per cent). The research found that 40 per cent of SMEs believe that since the election of the new Federal Government in September, there has been no changes for the small business sector, though 48 per cent do think it is too early to tell.
“Small businesses want the Federal Budget to reflect the needs of the sector,” Bibby’s Mark Cleaver said. “Highest on SMEs’ wish list is no increase in GST (34 per cent), followed by reduced taxes for small businesses (26 per cent), a reduction in Government red tape (16 per cent) and more small business handouts (8 per cent).
“Many businesses are experiencing cash flow problems with one in three reporting cash flow has become more difficult to manage over the past 12 months. A further hike in taxes on SMEs or in the GST would spell disaster for the sector.”
Looking ahead, Bibby found that 41 per cent of SMEs believe the Abbott Government won’t increase support for small businesses this year, while just 15 per cent of SMEs expect more support from the Government.