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Small to medium businesses are reducing their investment in capital expenditure due to concerns over rising energy prices.
A survey of 1280 businesses by East and Partners SME found 70 percent would reduce capital their expenditure with almost 40 percent suggesting they would scale back in the short term. A further 20.8 percent of businesses said they would scale back enterprise in the long term.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell expressed dismay at the figures, saying the government needs to stop arguing over energy policies and consider the ramifications for small business.
“The ACCC has revealed the impact of gas exploration bans on supply and distribution in Victoria and New South Wales, but these governments continue to shift the blame elsewhere,” she said.
“The Labor states talk about going alone on a clean energy target, which is putting politics ahead of the national interest.
“Meanwhile, businesses in South Australia may have to use dirty diesel generators to keep the lights on over summer.
Carnell suggested the government needed to abandon party politics and take a bi-partisan approach to repair the damage
“All parties and all governments should endorse the report, remove bans on gas exploration and adopt a bipartisan approach to provide investment certainty.
“The danger with continued political bickering is that businesses will go to the wall, jobs will move offshore and be lost and consumers will feel even greater pain.”