The current federal government is more popular amongst SMEs than its predecessor but an increasing number of business owners are dissatisfied with the Coalition’s support, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor
The bi-annual national survey of over 1,000 SME operators revealed that since being elected to power in September 2013, the Coalition government has been viewed more favourably than the Labor government in the preceding four years, with the level of satisfaction amongst SMEs ranging from 23% to 30%. However, in the last six months, satisfaction with the Coalition government has fallen from 30% to a low of 20%. Further, 32% of SMEs are dissatisfied with Coalition government support.
“This government has announced significant policies to support small and medium businesses,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed. “So I’m sure it is concerning that despite an election campaign that has placed a significant amount of attention on business, the results show the government’s message isn’t resonating as strongly as they’d like. After seeing an improvement in perceptions over the last year and a half, we now see that small business operators are feeling less supported by their governments.”
Reed said that while the survey findings are ‘somewhat sobering’, it wasn’t all bad news for the current government. ‘Bright spots’ included the more positive view held by younger business owners (dissatisfaction of 22% in Gen Y, compared to 37% for baby-boomers) and sole traders (dissatisfaction of 29% compared to 45% for small business).”
MYOB found that small business owners want to see a continuation of the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off scheme. 68% of SMEs said making the write-off a permanent policy was the number one initiative they would vote for
“It was positive to see the federal government increase the eligibility to $10 million for those who are able to access the instant asset write-off, but it’s disappointing that this policy is set to end on 30th June, 2017,” Reed said.
“The results from the Business Monitor show that SMEs are calling for the federal government to make this permanent.”
Other key policies that SMEs would vote for included: assigning a proportion of government procurement contracts to small businesses (58%), the establishment of an incentive bonus for businesses employing people over age 50 (57%), and increased Federal Government funding for skills, training and apprenticeship programs (54%).
“With the Government’s recent investment in the youth employment scheme, PaTH Initiative, it’s interesting to see that a majority of SME owners would also be interested in an incentive bonus for employing people over the age of 50,” Reed said. “This would be beneficial to baby boomers who are looking to return to the Australian workforce.”