The findings of MYOB’s latest SME Snapshot survey indicate that while 51 per cent of Australian SMEs feel the return of the Turnbull government is positive for small business, only 27 per cent are confident that the government’s positive policies will pass through Parliament.
“The government needs to work quickly and effectively with the Labor Party and crossbenchers to build confidence in the SME sector,” said Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB.
“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. Small business policy is often supported by a range of political parties, and given this we urge the government to quickly line up support for this critical legislation.”
When asked what steps the government could take to tackle SME dissatisfaction, respondents to the MYOB survey suggested that making the $20,000 instant asset tax write-off permanent and accelerating company tax rate proposals for small business would be steps in the right direction.
“The last Parliament was a watershed one for small business,” Mr Reed said. “For the first time in over a decade small business was moved to the centre of the policy framework. When removing the Minister for Small Business from the cabinet, the Prime Minister made the point that all cabinet ministers were there to represent small business. The Turnbull government has presented policies that support small businesses; we are now looking for the government to pass this legislation.”
The survey also revealed that SMEs were divided as to whether the focus on a strong economy, jobs and growth resonated with voters (38 per cent agreed and 28 per cent disagreed with this statement). Also, two thirds of SMEs (66 per cent) felt the Coalition needs to do more for the average working Australian.
“Small business owners are part of the fabric of our communities,” said Mr Reed. “They predominantly rely on local residents as customers and employees. They are very attuned to what their community feels, and what their concerns are. Our survey reinforces the view that while the small business segment is supportive of the Coalition government, to retain this support the onus is on the government to explain why their policies are good for average Australians.
“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,” he said.