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Gillard Government is losing touch

We’ve just released some new research from our MYOB Business Monitor and I thought I’d share some interesting findings with you.

It’s no surprise that the Gillard Government is unpopular and the patience of Aussie business owners is wearing thin… less than a quarter (23%) of business owners would vote for the Gillard Government if an election was held in the near future.

Our research found that Aussie businesses want immediate action on three policy issues: a lower small business tax rate (71%); a simplified BAS (64%); and assisted business finance (51%).

Businesses are also behind policies where they see support for community.  In fact 43% of businesses are in favour of raising the superannuation guarantee levy from 9% to 12%. Despite the fact that it will cost them, they recognise the positive impact it will have for employees. Businesses also recognise it’s a key driver for economic strength, an insurance policy for the future.

In addition, over a third (37%) of businesses also support setting up a general disaster fund. A general disaster fund would be a national approach to helping those affected by natural disasters to get back on their feet.  Whereas specific incident levies makes it harder for businesses to manage their cash flow.

The environment is a concern for businesses, however they’re mixed on whether a carbon tax is good (31% say important and 36% say unimportant) and similarly divided on a carbon credits system (27% say important and 30% say unimportant) – but more than third (36%) are for the introduction of fuel with a 20% ethanol option.

We don’t think businesses are making outrageous demands, they just want (and deserve) a fair go.  It’s pretty simple really, businesses want policies reduce red tape burden and WILL make business life easier.

Yes, the Government is lowering the company tax rate from 30% to 29% and say this is a major reform, but when it actually doesn’t apply to over 70% of Aussie businesses (that don’t operate a company structure as they are sole traders or family trusts) their ‘major reform’ becomes a benefit for a minority.  It also signals that the Government is losing, or perhaps has already lost, touch with business owners.

We don’t want the Government to lump businesses together as a single voting block.  Businesses come in different shapes, sizes, demographics and financial positions and the Government cannot apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

What are your thoughts? Are you happy with the Federal Government’s support for businesses?

Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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