Small business has backed Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, with half of the respondents to SmartCompany’s survey on the new Prime Minister conducted yesterday “strongly approving” of Turnbull ousting Tony Abbott.
The survey of 292 SmartCompany readers found 50% strongly approve of Turnbull getting the top job, while 18% approve, 14% strongly disapprove, 9% disapprove and 8% are ambivalent.
Of those surveyed 90% describe themselves as SMEs or sole traders, with 62% indicating they are the owners of the businesses they represent.
A few readers say they are happy with the result but not necessarily the means used.
“Would have preferred the party to do it in a more civil way … leader step down for a better qualified leader,” one says.
“He is a guy who has been there and done that for a change,” another says.
The overwhelming majority of readers (78%) think Turnbull will do a better job as prime minister than Abbott.
In bad news for the Labor party, 89% of readers say Turnbull is their preferred prime minister, as opposed to opposition leader Bill Shorten who is preferred by 11%.
“Would have switched and voted for Labor but now that Turnbull is the Prime Minister I’ll stick to the Liberals,” one reader says.
The key priority for SMEs is income tax reform with 50% of SmartCompany readers calling for Turnbull to prioritise reform in this area.
Of those surveyed 48% want to see reform of Australia’s climate policy, 42% want reform of the goods and services tax and 40% want to see the government’s promised competition law reform and effects test implemented.
The other key reforms SMEs want to see are in the areas of marriage equality (39%), penalty rates (37%), refugee policy (31%), unfair dismissal (38%) and negative gearing (34%).
Only 2% think no reform is necessary.
SMEs have voiced their concerns about Turnbull as well, with 37% of survey respondents saying the leadership spill has resulted in too much instability in the government, 34% are concerned the Prime Minister will prioritise big business over small business and 8% are concerned Turnbull will preference technology startups over small business.
SMEs say they are worried by Turnbull’s policy changes to get the top job.
One reader highlighted the Prime Minister’s “back flip” on marriage equality and a carbon tax saying “I support both”.
“[I’m concerned] that he has done deals to get the job that will prevent him doing the job,” another reader says.
“Turnbull’s ego will be his undoing,” says one reader.
Of those surveyed 35% have no concerns about Turnbull as Prime Minister.
As Turnbull looks to reshuffle his cabinet, there is one person SMEs want to see go, with 70% (200 readers) calling on Turnbull to get rid of Joe Hockey as Treasurer.
Scott Morrison is the number one choice to replace Hockey (53%), followed by Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (11%).
But SMEs want Turnbull to keep Bruce Billson as Small Business Minister, with 43% of those surveyed calling on the Prime Minister to keep Billson in the role, while 39% were undecided and only 18% want Billson out.
“He is doing a great job, very dedicated to the job,” says one SmartCompany reader.