Federal Budget 2017: Small business skeptical of both major parties

It doesn’t matter who’s in charge; Australian small business is skeptical about the government’s ability to deliver them a Budget that will make an impact.

With the Federal Budget less than a week away, MYOB’s most recent SME Snapshot found that 43 percent of SME owners are not confident that the government can deliver a positive outcome.

Respondents were also asked whether the Labor party could deliver a better outcome, with 49 percent saying no.

“This research tells us the small business community is showing trepidation ahead of the upcoming Federal Budget,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed.

But if there’s one policy decision that would prove a winner for a government trying to win over Australia’s small businesses, it’s extending the deadline for the $20,000 instant tax write-off for new assets.

Sixty percent of respondents said that this was the most pressing need they would like to see addressed in the budget.

“It’s no surprise that Australian SMEs want the $20K instant tax write-off for new assets made permanent in this year’s Budget,” said Reed.

It’s been a popular measure for a while, with 68 percent of SMEs responding to MYOB’s Business Monitor survey in June last year saying that it was the number one initiative they would vote for.

The measure is set to expire at the end of this financial year if the government does nothing.

“The $20K instant tax write-off is a Budget measure which has an immediate impact on the sector it targets and we can’t ignore the benefits it provides to the Australian small business community,” said Reed.

“I call on the Government to think seriously about the impact of not making the $20,000 instant tax write-off permanent, which would effectively undo the great work it has done in this space.”

Meanwhile, respondents said that lowering the company tax rate and implementing subsidies for employing young Australians would be good ideas.

Interestingly, 33 percent also called for government help in addressing cash flow support.

One idea which has been mooted by MYOB is to formalise a Prompt Payment Protocol for larger businesses paying small businesses within 30 days.

Last month MYOB pledged to reduce payment times for suppliers down to within 30 days.

 

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