BUDGET: SMEs call on government to fund innovation and skills training

15 May 2013

New Zealand’s small and medium businesses (SMEs) want more emphasis on research and development (R&D) funding, and increased spending on skills and training in this week’s budget, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitorresearch.

The survey of 1,047 SMEs conducted by independent market research firm Colmar Brunton highlighted that 71% of SME operators want to see the Government increase funding for skills and training. A further 50% of the business operators support the reintroduction of R&D credits.

MYOB New Zealand executive director Scott Gardiner says local SMEs want to see the Government targeting areas that will underpin increased productivity.

“The Government has the potential to make a real difference to the growth and development of New Zealand businesses in this Budget by focusing on the areas SMEs have identified as crucial for growth,” he says.

“The SME community wants to see the Government devote more funding to innovation and the development of the workforce – both of which have the potential to transform the economy.”

While businesses would welcome a targeted approach to stimulating productivity and growth in the 2013 budget, they are also happy to see the Government renew its commitment to balancing the books. More than half of New Zealand’s SMEs (55%) would support even further cuts to Government expenditure.

“The SME community favours the Government’s focus on taking steps to return to surplus and bring down debt, so they will welcome the prudent approach National has signalled in the lead up to this week’s budget,” says Scott Gardiner.

Reducing Government expenditure in this year’s budget is particularly popular among women in business (56% in support), mid-sized business owners with more than 20 employees (76%) and business owners in Christchurch (59%). Business owners in Wellington are most strongly opposed to budget cuts (26% opposed).

Despite public support for the policy in a recent poll, the SME community would likely approve of the Government’s determination to block any increase in paid parental leave because of its impact on the budget. The proposal to increase paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks is unpopular with SME business owners, with 45% opposed and 22% in support.

Although unlikely to feature in the budget, the SME community would also like to see the Government rein in Local Government powers. According to the MYOB Business Monitor, 48% of SME operators would like to see the Government limit the scope of Council’s responsibilities to core services.

“The SME community really favours a balanced approach from the Government for Budget 2013,” says Scott Gardiner.

“They would welcome further investment in the skills and technology that will help support economic growth. At the same time they would prefer the Government take a close look at any policies that will not only increase their costs but also potentially those of the business community.”

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For further information or immediate comment, please contact:

Kristy Sheppard


Tel: 09 925 3560

Mob: +61 407 450 860

Email: kristy.sheppard@myob.com

Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841

Mob: 0275 243 629

Email: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB New Zealand

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service 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 now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.co.nz.

About the MYOB business monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran late January/early February 2013. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.