3 things business owners want to say to government

19th January, 2017

The federal government has an opportunity to make inroads with more than 2.1 million voters – all it has to do is listen.

Australia has over 2.1 million small business owners, and countless more voters are employed by them, so it would be wise for the government to listen carefully.

Luckily, every year we ask over 1000 business owners what they want from the government.

This time round, the common theme was that business owners want the government to focus on making their businesses easier to run.

Here’s a breakdown of the most pressing things business owners want to tell the government.

 1. Keep the instant tax write-off and make things easier

No surprises here; keeping the instant tax write-off of assets under $20k was tremendously popular with 68 percent in favour of keeping the write-off beyond this year’s deadline.

It’s a position also supported by MYOB CEO Tim Reed, who has predicted that the 68 percent who want the policy maintained will be in for good news come budget time.

Elsewhere, simplifying the GST reporting process gained a good amount of support with 66 percent in favour of any potential government move to make the process easier.

 2. Mixed views on paid parental leave

The introduction of paid parental leave for all businesses with a revenue over $5m was more likely to cause operators to vote against the party proposing it (34 percent).

However, Gen Y operators were less likely to vote for almost all the nominated policies, with the exception of the introduction of a paid parental leave levy on all businesses over $5m revenue.

Almost one in four Gen Y respondents were likely to support the policy compared to just 9 percent of Traditionalists, and 20 percent of Baby Boomers.

 3. Can’t get no satisfaction (for 33 percent of SMEs anyhow)

We also asked business owners about their overall satisfaction with government support for small business.

Dissatisfaction with the Federal Government remained steady over the past year at 33 percent; that’s one third of business owners who don’t feel that the government supports their needs for successful business.

Higher dissatisfaction was noted by Baby Boomers (40 percent compared to 18 percent of Gen Y operators), micro (40 percent) and small businesses (41 percent), compared to 29 percent of sole operators and Western Australian operators (46 percent).

Agribusinesses were also more dissatisfied (47 percent).