Government urged to alleviate SME utilities pressure
With energy prices rising across several states over the weekend, an accounting software provider has pressed the government to address the rising costs facing “heavily burdened” small business owners.
AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia confirmed price increases from 1 July, with New South Wales and South Australia seeing a hike between 15 per cent and 19 per cent, the ACT up to 18 per cent and Queensland up to 7 per cent.
MYOB’s 2017 Business Monitor survey found that utility costs was a major pressure on small business owners. Forty-six per cent of owners who reported a revenue fall in the past 12 months attributing it to high utility costs.
“Australian small businesses are already feeling the brunt of high energy costs. We are, therefore, expecting the latest spike in energy prices to have a material impact on many small business owners,” MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said.
“With this issue already heavily burdening the SME sector, we support immediate action that will alleviate these significant financial pressures.”
Mr Reed called on the government to adopt the recommendations of the Finkel Review, a report led by Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel, on fixing major problems in the national energy sector.
“High energy prices reflect the absence of a consistent, well-designed energy policy over the last decade,” Mr Reed said.
“Small business owners and the community at large should not be forced into the situation we now find ourselves in. Governments need to be tuned into the issues that concern SME owners today and take action.
“Additionally, we call on the energy companies to work with the government to shore up the supply of gas to the local market and provide flexibility to small business where it is needed.”