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‘We’re not happy’, SMBs tell government

Small to medium business confidence in the Government and Opposition has fallen over the past year, as many SMBs report dissatisfaction with the performance of politicians in general.

According to the Telstra Business and the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) Back to Business Study, the Labor Government’s approval rating has dropped one point over the last year, and now sits at 38 out of 100. Confidence in the Opposition has slid one point too, to 48 percent.

Approval for the Greens is sitting at 43 percent and independents at 40 percent.

The research also found the Government’s budget offering of a tax write-off for SMBs has largely gone unnoticed. Just 24 percent of SMB owners and operators know about the instant write-off on the first $5000 of outlay on any capital asset from July.

The tax break was one of a few measures for SMBs, which also included a write-off on all other assets (except buildings) above $5000 in a single depreciation pool at 30 percent and a reduction in the company tax rate to 29 percent.

COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said he’s surprised so many small businesses are unaware of the tax write-off, given rising cost pressures.

“There’s a clear message that the Government needs to do more to sell its initiatives, while the low approval rating for all MPs shows they could be doing more to focus on the needs of small business,” Strong said.

Strong suggests the appointment of a Federal Small Business Commissioner would help the government better communicate with the sector and assist MPs.

“Over the years I have had many MPs ask how to communicate more effectively with the small business people and a Commissioner will assist the government, the bureaucracy and the elected members achieve that outcome,” he added.