GST reform is priority for WA business

07 June, 2017

Sixty per cent of WA businesses ranked GST reform among their top concerns for the upcoming year, while 72 per cent labelled payroll tax reform as a high priority. 

CCI chief executive Deidre Willmott says it's no surprise payroll tax continued to rank as the biggest issue facing the WA business community.

“More than 90 per cent of CCI’s Members are small and medium sized enterprises – these SMEs tell CCI they want to create more jobs, but their businesses simply cannot withstand hitting the $850,000 payroll tax threshold and getting slogged with the extra tax burden,” she says.

“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs that should ultimately be abolished, however – given WA’s woeful budget position and weak jobs market – business is calling for the State Government to maintain the current payroll tax rate and commit to not lowering the threshold. Any increase in the tax burden on business will cost jobs.

“Independent research has found that lifting the payroll tax threshold by $100,000 would create nearly 900 jobs, so the reverse is true for a threshold drop – making it harder for small businesses to make ends meet would mean jobs are either not created, or worse, are abolished altogether.”

 Willmott says businesses also tell CCI that as the collectors of GST in WA, they feel especially hard done by to see their hard-earned tax dollars sent to other states and territories.

“Particularly as the current GST model allows other states to rest on their laurels and not develop their underutilised industries. If other states built up their underdeveloped sectors, more WA GST dollars would stay in the west,” she says.

“CCI is calling for GST reform to stimulate national economic growth, help balance the state budget and give business back the confidence they need to invest in their enterprise, grow their operations and create more jobs for workers.”

Willmott says the annual member survey also showed WA businesses were extremely concerned with facilitating a role for local businesses in industry supply chains.

“Ensuring West Australian businesses can access opportunities on private and public sector works is critical to helping small and medium sized businesses grow and create jobs,” she says.

Business expectations

In addition to the Member survey, CCI is currently collecting responses for its quarterly business expectations survey.

In the survey, businesses can share their thoughts about the GST, WA business confidence and how they think the State’s economy is tracking.

►Please take 10 minutes to take CCI’s quarterly Business Expectations survey and share your thoughts on the GST, WA business confidence and how you think our state’s economy is tracking.