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The budget: Boring for business

The Federal budget’s been ‘handed down’ and it seems pretty light on deliverables for SMEs. Unfortunately, what we have is more evidence that SMEs have become the ‘forgotten’ majority.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some good things on offer – just not enough to make a tangible difference for the 96% of businesses in the SME sector. We like that
SME businesses will be able to write off all assets valued at under $5,000 and write-off all other assets (except buildings) in a single depreciation pool at a rate of 30%. We’re also please to see a reduction in income tax instalments paid under PAYG (using GDP for one year). However these initiatives are only a drop in the ocean for Aussie SMEs and addressing their needs.

It’s disappointing and frustrating to see the Federal Government continuing to claim that lowering the company tax rate is a win for small business. We are simply just not buying that old chestnut (this being the 3rd time they have rolled it out… initial the Henry Review, the 2010 Federal Budget and repeated again last night). The tax cuts are NOT a win for SMEs, when they don’t apply to the 70%+ of small businesses in Australia who are structured as sole traders, partnerships or trusts. Why can’t this Government take the time to learn about our business community and how we’re structured – all it takes is 5 minutes on the ABS website to learn about the SME business demography!

The initiatives announced in the Federal Budget miss the mark for what SMEs really need – a lower small business tax rate that is available to EVERY businesses (not just the minority that have a company structure), a simplified BAS system and increased access to business finance.

I wrote about the 2 speed economy last week, and unfortunately the Federal Government appears to be in denial – they don’t have their finger on the pulse. And without the success of SMEs the economy will falter – impacting everyone in Australia.

However Aussie SMEs are a tough bunch and although they’ve been let down we know that they’ll continue to strive for success and strive for the attention of the Government, attention that they so rightly deserve.

We keep reminding the Government that Aussie SMEs are the engine room of the economy and are crying out for their support, but they don’t seem to be listening. Any suggestions how we get the Gillard Government to pay attention?

What do you think about the Federal Budget? Are there any initiatives that will actually benefit your business?

What do you think?

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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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