INDEPENDENT NEWS

National a Sure Thing for Business Voters

Published: Sat 5 Nov 2011 11:53 AM
National a Sure Thing for Business Voters
• National still close to 60% of business vote
• John Key most preferred PM
• Nearly half don’t like asset sales
Despite some unpopular policies and a slight fall off in popularity, National will still capture the vast majority of the business vote according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor.
The MYOB Business Monitor survey of over 1000 business owners around the country shows that National is most likely to get the vote of 59% of business owners in the November election, down slightly from the previous Monitor survey in March when the Government polled 62%, but still well ahead of Labour on 11%.
Despite this overwhelming support for National, business owners are almost twice as likely to be dissatisfied with the Government’s support for businesses like theirs (34%) as they are to be satisfied with it (18%).
Of the minor parties, ACT has remained steady on 3% support from business owners, with the Greens on 2%.
In the preferred Prime Minister stakes, John Key is well ahead of any other rival for business voters, with 69% support. The next most popular candidate for Prime Minister is Labour leader Phil Goff, trailing significantly with 7% support, followed by Winston Peters (3%), and Don Brash (2%). The other party leaders tied on 1% for the business vote are Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples, Mana Party’s Hone Harawira, and the Green’s Russell Norman.
MYOB general manager Julian Smith says, a month out from the election, business owners have signalled a clear choice for a continuation of the fifth National Government.
“Although the MYOB Business Monitor surveys a wide range of business owners right around the country – from sole traders to those running larger enterprises – Kiwi business owners across the board have been consistent in their support for National,” says Julian Smith
Support for the Government is even higher among small business owners (71%) and those with a turnover of between $1-5million (72%). By sector, National is most popular with business owners in the Finance and Insurance sector (67%) and in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector (65%). Labour finds its strongest support amongst Transport and Warehousing business owners, with 22% of them saying that they will vote Labour, compared with 49% of them likely to vote National.
“The one cautionary note in the survey is the continued unpopularity of state asset sales among businesses,” says Julian Smith. “Almost half (46%) of all business owners are opposed to even a partial sale of state assets.”
“However, in further bad news for Labour, which has been talking up this policy recently, the most unpopular policy with business owners is the introduction of a capital gains tax – which would be a vote loser amongst 59% of business owners.”
Mr Smith says one Labour policy that is finding favour with businesses – despite the fact that it might increase their compliance burden – is the removal of GST on essential goods and services, popular with 58% of business voters.
“Its here that we see that businesses are looking for an even-handed mix of social policy and local investment,” says Julian Smith.
“Businesses would clearly like to see the Government direct more investment into the economy, with things like funding for R (popular with 58%), a ‘Buy Kiwi-made’ policy for all Central and Local Government agencies (51%), and more investment in key transport infrastructure (51%).”
“However, the one policy that is far and away the most popular for business is the simplification of provisional tax rules, supported by nearly three-quarters (74%) of all businesses,” says Julian Smith.
“This particular policy isn’t on any party’s radar at the moment, but what it emphasises is how complex and time consuming businesses find the current tax regime, and how much any party would stand to gain by making a concerted effort to make life easier for business.”
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About the MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor is a nationwide survey of over 1,000 New Zealand business owners, across a range of small and medium businesses, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, and representing the major industry sectors. The MYOB Business Monitor is designed to research key areas of business performance, including profitability, cash flow and pipeline work, as well as business confidence.
About MYOB
MYOB is a leading provider of business management solutions that have helped more than a million businesses in Australia and New Zealand. MYOB serves businesses of all kinds and sizes, delivering software and services that simplify accounting, payroll, client management, websites, and much more. With a network of more than 20,000 accountants and other professional partners, MYOB provides the tools and support that help make business life easier. For more information visit the MYOB website at www.myob.com

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