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Confidence in the Government plummets, again

Small to medium business confidence in the Federal Government has hit record lows, as almost three in five SMBs report dissatisfaction as a result of a lack of support from Gillard’s Labor Party.

According to the MYOB Business Monitor survey of 1,004 businesses, 57 percent of small business aren’t happy with level of help the Gillard Government is giving the sector. Just 17 percent of business operators were satisfied, a six percent increase from MYOB’s last report in March.

Frustration felt by the SMB community has skyrocketed since research began eight years ago. In 2010, MYOB reported that 38 percent of SMBs were dissatisfied and in the wake of the most recent report, this number had increased by an additional five percentage points.

Despite the release of a number of policies by the Government recently, the Labor Party has failed to gain the confidence of much of  the country’s small businesses, MYOB CEO Tim Reed said.

“It is difficult to know if these factors are driving their negative view of the government, or whether it is simply that many businesses are doing it tough,” he said.

Businesses need not do it tough though, with Reed encouraging them to think outside the box in order to reinvest and grow their businesses.

“For example, the tax-free threshold increase to $18,200 should encourage more part time workers to return to the workforce. This could be an opportunity for businesses to improve the skills of their team,” he said.

The increase is also designed to help the 1.4 million small business owners who are either a sole trader, hold an interest in a partnership or operate through a trust. As for those businesses looking to improve their cashflow, Reed suggests they take advantage of newly-introduced policies, like the carbon tax for example.

Under the carbon tax, the tax loss carry-back scheme allows businesses to offset losses against previously paid taxes. This scheme was rated positively by SMBs, with 16 percent believing it would assist keeping their business afloat and 25 percent believing it would help maintain their current level of business activity. A further 22 percent welcomed the scheme but didn’t feel their business needed it.

“Carbon tax-related financial incentives and programs are available to take advantage of, such as the increased instant tax write-off for business assets,” Reed added.

Despite the benefits of the tax loss carry-back scheme, 62 percent of business respondents want the carbon tax scrapped, as they believe it delivers no benefit to their business’ future.


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Derya Goren

Derya Goren

Derya Goren, a recent journalism graduate and currently a Masters in Islamic Studies student at Charles Sturt University.

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