Honeymoon over in small business view of Government

10 Oct 2014

Liberals most trusted on economy

One year into their term and small businesses are questioning the support they are receiving from the Government, according to Australia’s leading accounting software provider, MYOB.

After a reaching a five-year low in February, the September 2014 MYOB Business Monitor Report shows levels of dissatisfaction among SMEs are growing – reversing some of the improvements made after the Liberal Government came to office. Dissatisfaction has climbed to 37% in the latest survey of over 1,000 SMEs conducted by Colmar Brunton, from 32% earlier in the year. Satisfaction with the Government has also dipped slightly to 23%.


The business operators surveyed also felt the Government was failing to understand the issues affecting them, with 61% dissatisfied and only 33% expressing satisfaction on this measure.

The sectors where operators felt the Government had the greatest understanding of their issues were the business, professional and property sector (42% satisfaction) and the manufacturing and wholesale industry (39% satisfaction). Those industries where the Government was felt to have the least appreciation of the issues business operators are facing were agribusiness (18% satisfaction) and other industries* (25% satisfaction).

MYOB CEO Tim Reed says, “While still pretty good by historical standards, it’s a shame to see support for the Government slipping away after they made good gains in reaching the small business community in their first year.  Of particular concern is the support that small businesses have for policies the government is removing, such as the $6500 instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation of motor vehicles.”

Trust on the economy

The Liberal Government still enjoys a considerable measure of confidence in their handling of the economy, according to the survey. However, the number of business operators who don’t trust any party to appropriately manage the economy is almost as high.

Which Of The Major Political Parties Do You Trust most In Terms Of Appropriate Management Of The Economy?

  1. Liberal – 37%
  2. None of them – 31%
  3. Labor – 17%
  4. National – 5%
  5. Greens – 4%
Policy preferences

As well as focusing on support for SMEs and economic management, the survey also canvassed business operators on their preferred policy.




Policies that significantly simplify the GST/BAS reporting process 60% 9%
Increased Federal Government funding for skills, training & apprenticeship programs 56% 7%
The establishment of an incentive bonus for businesses employing people over age 50 55% 10%
Keep the $6500 instant asset tax write-off in play (rather than reducing it to $1000, as planned) 55% 11%
Reducing the company tax rate from 30% to 28.5% 55% 13%
More Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure in our major states & cities 53% 11%
Keep the accelerated initial deduction for motor vehicles that allows small businesses to instantly write off $5000 (rather than reducing it to $1000 as planned) 53% 12%
Government backed loans to small business start ups 53% 12%
A proportion of Government procurement contracts being assigned to small businesses 50% 10%
Increased Government funding for innovation, research & development by Australian businesses 49% 9%
Free Govt-funded training to small businesses on how to use the Internet to enhance & grow their business 48% 12%
The creation of a single flat tax for personal tax & company tax 45% 20%
Continuation of the tax loss carry back scheme 39% 11%
Making the ATO responsible for the distribution of staff superannuation & maternity leave payments 33% 17%
Remove the threshold at which GST is collected on goods purchased from abroad 31% 22%
The abolition of the rise of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy from 9% to 12% by July 2019 30% 28%
Reintroducing a biannual indexation by the consumer price index of excise duty for all fuels (except aviation fuels) 27% 21%
Introduction of a paid parental leave levy for all businesses with revenue over $5 million


21% 33%

“What we are seeing here again is that businesses really want some relief from red tape, incentives to invest and improved infrastructure,” says Tim Reed. “The government is focussed in these areas but small business want to see more traction.

“While the government is doing a number of things that are on balance supported by small businesses, such as pushing back the increase in the superannuation guarantee, indexing fuel excise and making the ATO responsible for super and maternity payments; these things are relatively marginal compared to the removal of the instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its The Pulse Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


For further comment or other information please contact:

Naomi Beames,

MYOB Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager

P: 02 9089 9039 / M: 427 223 841/ E: naomi.beames@myob.com

Mitchell Hunt,

Haystac Public Affairs Senior Account Manager

P: 02 8094 7739 / M: 0428 224 961 / E: myob@haystac.com.au

About the MYOB Business Monitor

Established in 2004, the MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of small and medium business owners and managers, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. The most recent study ran in January and February 2014, surveying 1,032 Australian operators from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes around areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline work, technology usage and government. Note: the weighting of MYOB client and non-client respondents is reflective of overall market proportions.

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, CRM, websites, job costing, practice management, inventory and more. MYOB also provides ongoing client support via many channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and spends more than AU$35 million annually on research and development. For more information, visit myob.com.au.

*‘Other industry’ includes these sectors to minimise their margin of research error: Communication Services; Cultural & Recreational Services; Education; Electricity, Gas & Water Supply Services; Health & Community Services; Mining; and Personal & Other Services