South Australia has defied the national trend and soared to its highest level of small and medium business confidence on record, with SMEs backing the Marshall Government’s positive economic reforms – including the abolition of payroll tax for all small businesses.
The landmark results – revealed in the March Quarter 2019 Sensis Business Index – show SA small and medium businesses are now the most confident in their own business prospects in the nation (up 5 points to +56), with a significant lift within regional South Australia (up 44 points to a record high of +72) while Adelaide outperforms all other capital cities.
The survey also found the Marshall Government continues to lead the way (along with Tasmania) in terms of SME support, with approval of SA government policies at a 6-year high – having rebounded from -19 to +19 points in the year since the change of government (table below).
It follows years of consecutive negative ratings under the former Labor government, which was criticised by business for the “high cost of utilities, power and rates, and too much bureaucracy”.
Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the latest record results as a ringing endorsement of the positive economic reforms of the Marshall Liberal Government, which was focussed on growing the state’s economy and creating more local jobs.
“In our first budget, we delivered $613.1 million in promised tax cuts – with the abolition of payroll tax for all small businesses putting $44 million a year back into the pockets of small businesses to reinvest into their operations to create jobs and stimulate the economy to drive growth,” said Mr Lucas.
“Small businesses underpin our state’s economy and this important tax cut gives them greater confidence to expand and hire more people, while sending a clear message that South Australia is open for business.
“This is in marked contrast to the negative results we saw under the former Labor government over several years, with many SMEs believing Labor was working against small business interests.”
Attitudes to state or territory government policies – trends in *net balance
March ’18 June ’18 Sept ’18 Dec ’18 March ’19
New South Wales +5 +4 -5 +2 +3
Victoria -8 -10 -3 0 +8
Queensland -19 -16 -15 -19 -23
South Australia -19 +18 +18 +17 +19
Western Australia -15 -7 -4 -5 +1
Tasmania +19 +36 +33 +29 +26
Northern Territory -8 -7 -9 -2 -5
ACT +9 -2 +5 -2 -19