October 17, 2017
Liberals will not oppose payroll tax increase
The WA Liberals will not oppose the Government’s proposed increase to the payroll tax.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the Liberal Party Room had considered the tax increase and while it did not accept the Government’s reasoning for increasing payroll tax, it would not oppose the legislation progressing through Parliament.
“While the payroll tax increase is another massive broken promise from the McGowan Government, the case for opposing the gold royalty increase was more compelling than the case to oppose the payroll tax increase,” Dr Nahan said.
“We believe we have struck the right balance in our response to this budget.”
Dr Nahan said the business community had not suggested the legislation be opposed, but proposed increasing the threshold and it was incumbent on the Government to bring this consideration forward.
“We believe there is merit in providing a payroll tax rebate for businesses with payrolls up to $1 million, and while the cost of it would represent a mere 0.1 per cent of total payroll tax revenue, it would support around 1,100 small businesses by effectively removing their payroll tax liability,” Dr Nahan said.
“We are disappointed not one cent of the revenue raised by the tax increase would be used to pay down debt.
“Labor overcommitted during the election campaign and when it came to choosing which promises it would have to break, the McGowan Government has chosen job-destroying tax increases rather than to reign in its unfunded and unaffordable election spending.”
Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder said it was disingenuous of the Government to claim the payroll tax changes were part of budget repair.
“The Government has a tax-and-spend agenda,” Mr Nalder said.
“It is increasing spending over and above what it has forecast it will receive in additional revenue from its tax measures.
“It is impossible to claim budget repair while increasing debt, deficit and expenditure.”
Dr Nahan said the payroll tax was different to the gold royalty increase in that a significant portion of the gold royalty would go to other states through GST redistribution.
He said the gold royalty also disproportionately affected small businesses and the impact of the gold royalty increase had a more significant impact on jobs.
“In the case of the increase to the gold royalty, the sector was able to demonstrate a clear case for significant job losses, a case the Premier prosecuted himself while in Opposition,” he said.
Andrew Gaspar Denice Rice
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