Further evidence has revealed that 65 per cent Australian business owners believe the federal carbon tax will have a negative impact on their business.

The MYOB business poll surveyed 3,500 local business owners in late July on their attitudes to a range of economic issues concerning their business, including the carbon tax.

Tim Reed, MYOB CEO, said the putting a price on carbon makes sense, however selling it as a tax, particularly in the current economic environment, does not help.

“Outside of the resource sector, the majority of Aussie SMEs are currently locked in a struggle to maintain their existing revenue levels. The government seems oblivious to the fact that local consumer spending is down, the retail sector is in a virtual recession, manufacturing is down and exporters are struggling. We need the policies they release to make business life easier, not harder,” he said.

The MYOB research found the industry sectors that were the most positive toward the tax were: arts & recreation (39%); IT, media & telecommunications (39 per cent); and education (36 per cent).  The sectors that believed the tax would have a negative impact on their businesses were: Transport (77 per cent); Mining (76 per cent); Hospitality (75 per cent); Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing (75 per cent); and Manufacturing (75 per cent).

“Most businesses understand the logic of putting a price on carbon but are concerned by the Government’s decision to exempt many carbon-heavy companies. They fear the tax will push business costs up and that Australian shoppers will feel out of pocket which will compound losses at the cash register,” Reed said.

State by state, Tasmania had the highest business support with 10 per cent while the ACT was as the lowest at 2 per cent. Predictably, the resource and tourism-heavy States and Territories have the highest number of business owners who believe the carbon tax will negatively impact their business.