New MYOB research has found that one in two SME operators are dissatisfied with the level of the Federal Government’s support for helping businesses such as theirs succeed.
Over the past two years this proportion has increased significantly, from 38 per cent in the March 2010 MYOB Business Monitor report to 52 per cent in the March 2012 report. However, the latest result was lower than the highest level of performance dissatisfaction recorded by the study – 56 per cent in October 2011 and July 2008. Only 11 per cent said they were satisfied with the level of Federal Government support provided; 36 per cent were neutral on the subject.
The low level of satisfaction reported by SMEs was closely aligned with the level of respect they felt the Federal Government showed. More than half of the survey respondents (51 per cent) claimed the government demonstrated a high level of disrespect towards businesses like theirs.
“Our political leaders have a full agenda over the next few months – the carbon tax introduction, the pending 650 per cent rise in the instant asset write off threshold, a significant realignment of all income tax rates including the increase in the tax free threshold, and a pending reduction in company tax rates for SMEs that are incorporated,” MYOB CEO Tim Reed said.
“Many changes will be good for many small businesses, but they must plan well if they are to capitalise on the opportunities. It will be interesting to see later in the year if the policies strike a chord with them.”
According to MYOB’s research, making business life easier by reducing the paperwork burden and investing further in city transport infrastructure were among the top political initiatives that would turn SMEs’ election votes towards the party that proposed them. The top five initiatives were:
1. More Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure in major states and cities – 68 per cent.
2. Policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process – 67 per cent.
3. The abolition of the carbon tax – 61 per cent.
4. Increased government funding for innovation research and development by Australian businesses – 60 per cent.
5. Introduction of a ‘Buy Aussie Made’ policy for all central and local government procurement where possible – 60 per cent.
The top five initiatives that would turn business owners’ votes against the party that proposed them were:
1. The sale of state assets to assist reducing government debt levels – 54 per cent.
2. The introduction of a heavy transport fuel levy – 50 per cent.
3. The creation of a common currency and economic zone with New Zealand – 39 per cent.
4. The adoption of Andrew Wilkie’s proposed poker machine reforms – 33 per cent.
5. The abolition of the intended rise of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy from nice per cent to 12 per cent over the next four years – 32 per cent.
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