SMEs have an early favourite, policy will decide election result

The election date brings some certainty, but we now need to see some detail from both parties.

The results are in from SmartCompany’s election poll and the majority of readers are leaning towards Tony Abbott and a Coalition government at this early stage.

But with the election date of September 14 setting up Australia for its longest ever lead up to an election, there’s still a long way to go in the run up to polling day.

Let’s hope both parties provide some details about their policies for businesses as so far there has been a lot of rhetoric but not much detail.

Labor claims to have established its small business credentials through the appointment of the first national small business commissioner but crucially the government failed to get its promised company tax cut through, leaving many businesses feeling abandoned in last year’s budget.

Admittedly, Labor has suffered from having such a marginal hold on the balance of power.

Whichever party is triumphant, business will be hoping the government has a substantial majority after suffering through a minority government which has been seen to be heavily influenced by marginal voices.

Meanwhile Abbott has made the grand announcement that a Coalition government will double small business growth.

It’s an admirable sentiment but he has provided absolutely no detail about how he is going to do this.

Instead the Opposition Leader has only repeated previously announced policies to have a small business minister in federal cabinet, “because small business must be heard by the highest council in the land”, and to reduce business red tape costs by $1 billion a year.

In his speech yesterday to the Press Club, Abbott promised to restore trust to politics but refused to explain how he will balance the budget while delivering new spending and abolishing some taxes.

Here at SmartCompany over the course of the next eight months, we’ll be trying to find some substance in the speeches and campaigning and letting you know what each party is actually going to do about the issues that matter to SMEs.

For businesses out there which are struggling, it’s good to see some certainty around an election date, but where SME owners cast their votes is likely to very much depend on some certainty around the policies offered by both parties.

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