Business priorities for Budget 2017

22 May 2017

With the budget fast approaching, a survey of small-to-medium sized businesses has revealed their thoughts on a range of economic policy issues.

Business management software provider MYOB surveyed 1,015 business owners around New Zealand and found support for several the Government’s current initiatives, as well as highlighting some new ideas.

“Our research found 63 percent of business owners support introducing a graduated company tax scale like is now the case in Australia,” says MYOB New Zealand General Manager Carolyn Luey.

Australia’s most recent budget saw company tax rates for businesses earning up to $10 million drop to 27.5 percent, with those above paying 30 percent. The goal is to reduce company tax rates down to 25 percent for all businesses by 2026-27. New Zealand business all currently pay 30 percent.

“We think there is a case to me made for supporting small and start-up businesses with a lower rate and gradually extending the rate to cover all businesses. Leaving them with more cash means they’re more likely to invest in new staff, new equipment and growth.

“New Zealand small businesses need to remain competitive, especially those who are trading with the world. We’d like to see the government signal moves to reduce company tax to give these businesses the best chance of success.

“We found 68 percent of business owners would like the government to introduce an instant asset write off scheme to spur investment. In Australia, small businesses can instantly write off new assets up to $20,000, meaning businesses receive a tax benefit and big productivity gains from upgrading plant and equipment. Introducing a similar scheme here would be hugely welcomed by business owners.

The survey found 91 percent support for moves to ensure multinational businesses pay their fair share of tax on profits made in New Zealand. However, owners were much more evenly split on the introduction of GST for offshore retailers with 46 percent in favour and 34 percent against.

“It’s also interesting to see such high support for measures to make multinational businesses pay a fair share of tax on profits earned in New Zealand. We’d encourage the government to be bold in how it tackles this issue,” says Ms Luey.

“There was also strong support for many of the change this government has introduced. The 90-day trial period for new employees received 68 percent support, while introducing a new pay-as-you-earn alternative to provisional tax was backed by 73 percent of business owners. We hope all parties come to see the benefits of these moves.

“In terms of next steps, 62 percent of respondents were keen to see government assign a proportion of its procurement contracts to small business and 68 percent want to see the Holidays Act reformed to simplify how leave entitlements are calculated. MYOB has been working alongside New Zealand businesses for more than 25 years and these two issues have consistently rate highly on their policy wish list during that time.

“The Government is to be commended for getting the books into a state where we now have choices about where to invest next. That achievement is reflected in strong support for National from small business owners.

“Given that support, we strongly encourage the Government to bold in its thinking about how to best support business growth in our country in this week’s budget,” says Ms Luey.

Questions on the upcoming election:

1. Which of the following best describes your opinion regarding the next election?

It is time for a change


The current Government deserves to be re-elected


It doesn't make any difference to me which party is in power


Don't know



2. Which of the major political parties do you consider best for helping businesses like yours succeed?

National Party


Labour Party


Green Party


New Zealand First


Maori Party




United Future




None of them


Don’t know



For further comment or other information please contact:

Conor Roberts, MYOB NZ Communications and Public Affairs Manager
M: +64 21 124 6004  / E:



About MYOB

MYOB (ASX: MYO) is a leading cloud based business management solutions provider. It makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand 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 in 2015 was awarded the BRW award for the most innovative large company for 500+ employees and placed 2nd in BRW’s Most Innovative Companies Award list across all categories nationally.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.