Australian SME business leaders have shown overwhelming dissatisfaction with the Federal Government’s proposed tax on carbon.
A survey of 300 SME chiefs, who are members of Australia’s leading executive mentoring organisation, The Executive Connection (TEC), found only 19 per cent supported the tax.
More than half (55%) of respondents said that their business would be adversely affected by a carbon tax, with the remaining respondents either undecided (20.5%) or claiming to be unaffected (24.5%).
A massive 86.5 per cent of respondents were concerned about the potential rise in electricity costs resulting from the introduction of the carbon tax.
The Executive Connection’s CEO Chris Gorman said the results indicated that SME leaders had serious concerns about the impact of the carbon tax and that significant efforts should be made to ensure their interests were not overlooked.
“It’s no easy task running a business. The results of our survey show that SME leaders are genuinely concerned about the introduction of the carbon tax, with rising electricity costs appearing as the top concern,” Mr Gorman said, suggesting the tax presented a significant challenge for small and medium sized businesses.
“The SME community is clearly concerned that the carbon tax will impose another obstruction in their path, effectively preventing them from running a productive and profitable business.”
A large proportion of respondents (60%) said they expected to be compensated for any additional costs to their business stemming from the introduction of the new tax.
“If our results are in any way indicative of the sentiment within the wider business community, failure to sufficiently compensate small business for the associated costs of the tax could be extremely damaging to the economy,” Mr Gorman said.
“SMEs play a vital role in the Australian economy, contributing both jobs and profits, but unfortunately, through lack of sufficient and thorough consultation, their interests are very often overlooked.
“I would urge all governments and regulators to pay close attention to the concerns of the SME community when drafting or implementing new policies. The Australian economy needs healthy and happy SMEs to remain productive.”