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Business owners rate the government's poor performance in the latest MYOB Australian Small Business Survey…

Almost half of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) polled by the latest MYOB Australian Small Business Survey are unhappy with the government’s contribution to the development of small business in Australia.

In line with results from previous years’ surveys, 44 percent of small businesses rated the contribution as poor. And although it scored lower than recent surveys, interest rates still topped the list of issues most likely to concern small business.

"It is interesting to see that the interest rate issue the Howard Government campaigned hard on in the last election is continually being raised as a major concern among small business," says Tim Reed, managing director of MYOB Australia.

The small businesses most likely to rate the government performance negatively were those from the transport and storage industry, while there has been a marked decrease in negative responses from the agriculture industry.

"Perhaps the agricultural sector has appreciated the support from the Federal Government through the drought," Reed suggests.

Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting was ranked as the biggest ‘red tape’ concern with almost 70 percent of respondents ranking it in their top three burdens in this area, followed by GST and occupational health and safety (OH&S).

Reed says these figures show a marked contrast between the government’s claim to being a ‘government for small business’ and the perception of business owners towards it. "There also appears to be frustration at the different OH&S regulations in each state, in addition to the federal regulations. Perhaps we are seeing a call for a more centralised system," he adds.

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