MEDIA RELEASE - SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES “DISAPPOINTED WITH CURRENT BUSINESS CONDITIONS” - 10 MARCH 2016

Today’s Westpac-Melbourne Institute SME index reveals the growing level of pessimism from small and medium business in the Turnbull Government.

The authors of the report say the result:

 

“…reveals that on average SMEs across Australia were disappointed with overall business conditions over the last 3 months with the reading of the Current Conditions Index at 88.6, well below the neutral mark of 100.”

 

They also find that:

               

“…the burst of confidence we experienced last year following the Federal Government’s leadership change is tapering off”.

 

Like the rest of Australia, small and medium sized businesses are alive to this do-nothing Turnbull Government which kicked off on the promise of new leadership, but is now exposed as all talk and no action.

 

The survey notes the May 2016 Budget, “looms large for SME sentiment.”  Yet the Small Business Minister – also the Assistant Treasurer – cannot even say with certainty when the Budget is going to be handed down.

 

Other key findings in the index reflect the importance of the National Broadband Network for SMEs to capitalise on e-commerce opportunities.  Yet under Malcolm Turnbull, the cost of his second-rate network has doubled and his promise of delivery to every Australian by 2016 was one of the first to be broken.

 

Red tape remains a key impediment for small business. For all the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s rhetoric and its war on punctuation in its so-called red tape repeal days, the 2015 ACCI National Red-tape Survey found of 73 per cent of respondents said regulatory burdens had increased in the past 12 months – on this Government’s watch.

 

As Labor continues to engage with Australia’s diverse small business community, one of the key messages being received is their lack of confidence in a Government which has no economic plan and is too weak to make decisions.

 

Australia’s two million small businesses deserve better.

THURSDAY, 10 MARCH 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: HENRY SHERRELL 0423 315 250