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Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey

Budget 2014: SMEs hope for lower taxes, but pessimism high

Small and medium sized businesses do not want to see an increase in the GST in next week’s Federal Budget and many are pessimistic about whether the Abbott Government will deliver on its promises for the sector.

That’s according to the latest SME survey from Bibby Financial Services, which found almost 38 per cent of SMEs believe the budget will do nothing for the small business sector. Just 17 per cent believe the budget will support small business. Around one in four SMEs believes the budget will simply be aimed at “bribing voters”.

Mark Cleaver, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, said small businesses are looking for the budget to reflect the needs of the sector.

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,” Cleaver said.

Notably, the vast majority of SMEs do not know who the Federal Minister for Small Business is, with only 16 per cent correctly naming Bruce Billson, according to the Bibby survey.

On the other side of the coin, new consumer research revealed that building up savings is currently the top financial priority for Australians.

The research from insurance firm TAL found that second to saving as the top financial property, is increasing money for leisure, even for those who are not working and those aged 50-69.

High on the list were saving for holidays and saving for retirement across all demographics.

TAL Group CEO Jim Minto said the findings show that while saving is a top priority, Australians are also adopting a “live for the moment” spending attitude by aiming to increase leisure and holidays above any other tangible financial outlays.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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