The annual pre-budget survey by Pitcher Partners of chief executives, accountants, and business owners found that just 18.5 per cent believe that this year’s budget measures will be implemented, signalling the business sector’s confidence in the incumbent government’s ability to hold office when the nation heads to the polls in May.
Despite the lack of confidence, 64 per cent of respondents believe the current government is performing well in managing the economy.
A straw poll on Accountants Daily had earlier shown that 82 per cent of respondents believe that a Liberal government will deliver better tax policies for Australia.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, the Institute of Public Accountant general manager of technical policy Tony Greco said that while he could understand the sentiment shared by business leaders, he cautioned against writing off the government before the election.
“If people think the government have got no hope then I suppose that’s a reaction to that thinking but in this uncertain world, I wouldn’t be ruling anything in or out,” said Mr Greco.
“If something does get announced and it has merit, then a new incumbent government might also be under pressure.
“I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything out despite what the polls say.”
Simplify the tax system
When asked what the government’s priorities should be in preparing this year’s budget, 58.6 per cent of respondents called for the tax system to be simplified.
Unsurprisingly, 65.4 per cent of respondents said that any measure that would help reduce red tape would make the most difference for businesses, with 60.7 per cent calling for the government to introduce measures to promote small- to medium-sized businesses.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to deliver his first budget on 2 April. The federal election is set to take place in May, with the exact date yet to be announced.