Business man giving a thumbs down

SMBs still largely dissatisfied with Federal Government

Over half of all SMBs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Government, as many report feeling disrespected and unsupported by Julia Gillard’s Labor party.

According to MYOB Business Monitor research, 52 percent of small to medium businesses are dissatisfied with the Federal Government, just four percent down on the peak dissatisfaction levels recorded in October last year.

Just 11 percent said they’re satisfied with support provided by the government and 36 percent were neutral on the subject.

MYOB said low satisfaction levels are linked with the respect SMBs feel the government shows them. More than half of respondents said the government demonstrated a high level of disrespect toward businesses like theirs.

The report also uncovered five key policy areas SMBs felt the government could improve upon:

1. More Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure in major states and cities (68 percent).
2. Policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process (67 percent).
3. The abolition of the carbon tax (61 percent).
4. Increased government funding for innovation research and development by Australian businesses (60 percent).
5. Introduction of a ‘Buy Aussie Made’ policy for all central and local government procurement where possible (60 percent).

According to MYOB CEO Tim Reed, a number of policy changes would be good for small businesses, but the Government need to plan well if it’s to capitalise on the opportunities.

“Our political leaders have a full agenda over the next few months – the carbon tax introduction, the pending 650 percent 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 SMBs that are incorporated,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see later in the year if the policies strike a chord with them,” he added.

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 percent).
2. The introduction of a heavy transport fuel levy (50 percent).
3. The creation of a common currency and economic zone with New Zealand (39 percent).
4. The adoption of Andrew Wilkie’s proposed poker machine reforms (33 percent).
5. The abolition of the intended rise of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy from 9 percent to 12 percent over the next four years (32 percent)

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