Accounting software business MYOB released its latest survey into the attitude of small-to-medium enterprises (SME) today, and it’s not good news to the Turnbull government from the nation’s business “engine room”.
While a slim majority (51%) welcomed the return of the Coalition, only around a quarter of SME-owners (27%) are confident the government’s policy plans for the SME sector will make it through parliament.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the SME Snapshot shows the government has a lot of work to do with Labor and crossbenches to restore confidence in the SME sector.
“Our research confirmed that many of the policies the government took to the election are popular with small business, but the close election outcome has raised fears that these policies won’t see the light of day,” he said.
There was a slight increase in dissatisfaction with the government, perhaps sparked by the retirement of the popular small business minister, Bruce Billson, and the dropping of the portfolio from Cabinet.
“The last parliament was a watershed one for small business. For the first time in over a decade small business was moved to the center of the policy framework,” Reed said.
The survey found SMEs were divided as to whether the focus on a strong economy, jobs and growth resonated with voters (38% agreed/28% disagreed); while 66% felt the Coalition needed to do more for the average working Australian.
“We have to remember that while small business owners are looking for ways the government can eliminate operational pressures, they also support broader measures that benefit the average working Australian,” Reed said.
“Small businesses appear to be waiting to see how the government works towards positive progress for the sector in the coming months, and business owners will be basing their assessments of the Coalition’s capability on actions rather than promises.”
Other key findings in the SME survey included:
· 51% SMEs feel the return of the Turnbull government is positive for small business
· 43% not confident the Coalition will be able to pass planned legislation
· 52% of small businesses suggested making the $20,000 asset tax write-off permanent
· 49% of small businesses suggested accelerating the company tax rate cut proposals for small business would be steps in the right direction
The MYOB SME Snapshot is a monthly online survey of a section of the software company’s 1.2 million customers, which began 12 months ago.
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