SME research: the government has not received even a medium qualification

SME research: the government has not received even a medium qualification

One of the ideas of the political parties participating in the elections is to improve the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises. In connection with this, Policy Agenda has asked company managers to tell their opinion on the economic policy of the recent four years and the changes they consider important. The company managers’ opinions are much divided regarding whether the government would be replaced.

The majority voted for the change

The managers of small and medium-sized enterprises told us their evaluation of the recent four years by giving a qualification from 1 to 5 where 1 is the worst and 5 is the best. The relative majority (27%) would give insufficient qualification to the government while the second largest camp (24%) has the opinion that the cabinet has performed best on this area.

If we make an average of the qualifications then the result would be below medium (2.94), which means that on the whole company managers are dissatisfied with the decisions of the government on economic policy that have influenced their operation in the recent four years.

We have also asked what orientation they would consider as necessary in the next government cycle. Should 42% of Hungarian SME managers have said there is no need to change and approved the current economic policy, according to 58% of the respondents smaller (17%) or larger changes (41%) would be needed. Most of company managers (39%) think that the current orientation is so bad that the current government is not able to correct it.

We might not have asked the company managers about their party preference but the figures reflect that this question defines their opinion basically before the elections. Half of company managers (51%) that have thought in a previous question that the work in economic policy merits a qualification of 3 or 4 said they would not need the change. This means that figures show that the majority is rather dissatisfied but such dissatisfaction would not be transformed necessarily into a vote for government change.

If there were a programme…?

We showed in our previous analyses that most of the political parties participating in the elections had not published their respective programme. Fidesz-KDNP belongs to this category because they have not presented an actual programme but they emphasise that everyone can know what they can expect of them based on their governing so far.

We have asked company managers whether they are aware of the economic ideas of the parties participating in the elections. 65% of respondents have replied: yes, they know them while 23% of them would like to learn about the programmes but they have not heard about them. It may be not surprising so much that there is a very tiny group (12%) that do not know and are not even interested in the programmes of the political parties.

30% of respondents that have said they know the plans of the parties regarding economic policy have expressed their wish to change the government. This means they think the economic policy is wrong basically and the current government is not able to change this.

63% of respondents that are active but struggling with the lack of information think that basic change and government change would be necessary. Even among the respondents that are not interested in the economic policy of the political parties, the minimal majority (50%) want government change.

The figures of the research reflect well that the company managers’ opinions are much divided about whether the SME sector needs government change or the current cabinet is able to correct the orientation. However, the opinion has clear majority that should anyone become the governing party, such a party should realise at least a minimal change in orientation. All in all, the optimism of the government does not match the opinion of company managers at the moment.

We have realised a representative survey of small and medium-sized enterprises by taking the answers of 500 company managers. The research took place between the 18th and 28th March 2014 via an on-line company panel and querying over the phone.