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Satisfaction with Govt Support Improving for SMEs

Satisfaction with Govt Support Improving for SMEs
Current economic policies finding most favour

As the 2014 General Election nears, satisfaction with the Government among SMEs is on the rise, according to the latest research by leading New Zealand business solutions provider MYOB.

The March MYOB Business Monitor shows a marked increase in the level of satisfaction with Government support amongst SME business operators. A third (33%) are happy with National’s backing of the sector and less than a quarter (24%) dissatisfied. This is a significant turnaround from the August 2013 Monitor, when dissatisfaction outweighed satisfaction (24% versus 28%).

MYOB General Manager Accounting Division Adam Ferguson says more local businesses are no doubt feeling comfortable with how well the Government is working for business, given the recent strong performance of the SME economy.

“Small and medium businesses are doing well across the board in this latest MYOB Business Monitor survey, with three in four seeing increased or steady revenue over the past year,” he says.

“And just as their performance expectations are positive, they are very confident about how well the broader economy will perform over the coming months. Half of all SME operators expect to see New Zealand’s economy improve further within 12 months – the highest level of short-term confidence we have seen in the last five years.

“However, as we have discovered from the policy preferences of this business community, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done in making it easier to do business in New Zealand.

“Further work on reducing complexity in business reporting has to be a focus of any party looking to secure the SME vote this election.”

Christchurch SMEs most satisfied with Government support; transport industry most dissatisfied

Although the rebuild has still yet to reach full swing, businesses in Christchurch remain the most satisfied and the least dissatisfied with the support of the Government.

Main centres satisfaction with Government supportTotal satisfactionTotal dissatisfaction
Christchurch 36%18%
Rest of NZ31%26%

In the sectors, business operators in the finance and insurance industry are happiest with the Government’s help, while the transport industry shows the highest levels of dissatisfaction.

Sector satisfaction with Government supportTotal satisfactionTotal dissatisfaction
Finance & insurance 45%12%
Business, professional & property 38%22%
Primary 34%20%
Manufacturing & wholesale32%18%
Construction & trades28%25%
Retail & hospitality26%28%
Transport, postal & warehousing 27%41%

National’s economic policies more in-line with SME vote

SME operators also appear to be favouring little change in economic policy, as several of National’s key policy planks gain support in the latest Monitor.

Despite a troublesome roll out, asset sales have actually increased in favour with the SME sector. The proportion supporting the policy – i.e. those who say they would vote for the political party that continued partial sales of state assets – has lifted from 27% a year ago, to 32% in the latest Monitor. Those opposing the sales still outweigh those in support, at 37%, though this bloc has fallen from 43% in March 2013.

Scrapping National’s 90-day trial period for new employees would also prove unpopular, with 43% opposing the move and 23% in support. Changing the policy would be particularly unpopular in the resurgent manufacturing sector, where 60% of operators would vote against removing it.

Other unpopular economic policies in the forthcoming election for SME voters include:
• Introducing a capital gains tax: 64% against; 16% for
• Raising the superannuation age to 67: 46% against; 21% for
• Introducing GST for offshore purchases made online: 39% against; 27% for
However, SME operators are in favour of controlling foreign investment in New Zealand land and infrastructure, with 55% saying they would vote for the policy, and 13% against.

Cutting red tape key focus

“Although a ‘steady as she goes’ approach to the economy might have the greatest appeal for SME voters in this election, they’d still like to see managing the responsibilities of being a business owner made easier,” says Mr Ferguson.

The simplification of Provisional Tax remains one of the most popular policies for SMEs, for the eighth survey in a row. 72% say they would vote for the political party that introduced an initiative to make it easier to accurately determine and meet their tax obligations. Just 3% would be against. A policy to simplify PAYE rules and processes has similar appeal, with 59% for and 2% against.

“This is shaping up to be a great year for local business,” says Mr Ferguson. “The one thing that would make it even better is a Government that is committed to cutting through red tape.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites.


About MYOB
Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand’s leading accounting software 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 also 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 NZ$35+ million annually on research and development. For more information, visit

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