If the latest MYOB Business Monitor is anything to go by, the Government shouldn’t be basking in the warm glow of a job well done post-Federal Budget.
New MYOB research found that a whopping one-in-two small-to-medium business operators were unimpressed with the Federal Government’s efforts to support businesses such as theirs.
Given the same polling in March 2010 reported a 38% dissatisfaction rate, it would seem Gillard et al have their work cut out for them. That said, it’s an improvement on October 2011’s 55% dissatisfaction rating.
Only 11% said they were satisfied with the Government support received, while the remaining 38% were on the fence.
In even harsher wording, 51% of SMEs surveyed said the Government demonstrated a high level of disrespect towards businesses like theirs.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said: “Small-to-medium business operators’ dissatisfaction with Federal Government support remains high.”
“Our political leaders have a full agenda over the next few months – the carbon tax introduction, the pending 650% rise in the instant asset write off threshold, a significant realignment of all income tax rates including the increase in the tax free threshold, and a pending reduction in company tax rates for SMEs that are incorporated.”
“Many changes will be good for many small businesses, but they must plan well if they are to capitalise on the opportunities. It will be interesting to see later in the year if the policies strike a chord.”
SMEs: Want our votes? Here’s what NOT to do
The MYOB Business Monitor identified the top initiatives that would see the party to propose them haemorrhage votes. Politicians, take heed. Do not consider the following in your policy planning:
- The sale of state assets to assist reducing government debt levels – 54%
- The introduction of a heavy transport fuel levy – 50%
- The creation of a common currency and economic zone with New Zealand – 39%
- The adoption of Andrew Wilkie’s proposed poker machine reforms – 33%
- The abolition of the intended rise of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy from 9% to 12% over the next four years – 32%
But it’s not all doom and gloom. To show they’re reasonable, SMEs revealed the initiatives they would look upon favourably:
- More Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure in major states and cities – 68%
- Policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process – 67%
- The abolition of the carbon tax – 61%
- Increased government funding for innovation research and development by Australian businesses – 60%
- Introduction of a ‘Buy Aussie Made’ policy for all central and local government procurement where possible – 60%
Mr Reed commented: “If either party is looking to turn the tide of sentiment firmly towards them, they should at the very least look to improve business transport conditions and simplify the red tape that requires operators to spend extra time on admin that they could be spending on developing their business.”
State governments aren’t faring much better
Before state governments go getting their smug on, the MYOB report showed SMEs perceived their performance in an equally dismal light.
In answer to the question ‘How satisfied are you with your State Government’s performance in the last six months in terms of making things better, rather than worse, for your business?’ 51% of business owners said they were highly dissatisfied.