There are few fully paid up members of the ‘We Heart Gillard’ fan club among Australia’s small-to-medium enterprises, according to the April MYOB Business Monitor special report, which has found that a mere 23% would vote for the Prime Minister and her peeps if an election was held in the near future.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the Government’s lacklustre standing was the result of neglect.
“Australian SMEs have become the forgotten majority, with no action from the Federal Government on any of the reforms that are important to them.”
The MYOB research found that Australian SMEs are keen for swift action on three key issues: a lower small business tax rate (71%); a simplified Business Activity Statement (64%); and assisted business finance (51%).
“The Government keeps pointing to the lowering of the company tax rate [from 30% to 29%] as a major reform but when you consider that it doesn’t apply to over 70% of Australian businesses that do not operate a company structure, because they are sole traders or family trusts, it seems that they have they lost touch with the real demographics of Australian business,” Reed said.
“These are not outrageous demands and they already have support from a majority of the business community.”
According to the MYOB Business Monitor, Australian SMEs are also pro raising the superannuation guarantee levy to 12% (43%), establishing a general disaster fund (37%) and introducing fuel with a 20% ethanol option (36%).
“Compulsory superannuation is seen by many business owners as one of the key drivers of Australia’s economic strength, so an increase is considered an insurance policy for the future.”
“They’d prefer a general disaster fund because it can be planned for and it reflects a more commonwealth approach to helping those affected by natural disasters to get back on their feet.”
“Business owners are a very pragmatic group and prefer predictability.”
Reed warned that all political parties should ignore Australia’s SMEs at their peril.
“We call upon all political parties to stop ignoring the SME sector and start developing policies that will genuinely make business life easier.”
“SMEs are the silent engine room of the Australian economy and they seek policies that are fair, transparent and easily adopted by their business operations.”