No new fees or charges pleads business

08 February, 2017

The WA business community is calling on whoever forms the next Government to commit to not introducing or raising new fees, charges or taxes for business.

CCI CEO Deidre Willmott says there are three options for infrastructure and budget repair for whichever party forms Government – asset sales, reduction in recurrent expenditure or new tax revenue.

Restraint in budget expenditure growth, as previously called for by CCI, will need to underpin any budget repair efforts.

“We have written to Mark McGowan and Colin Barnett asking them to commit to not increasing or introducing any new fees, charges or taxes on business in their first term,” Willmott says.

“It is critical that all parties understand that its business that creates jobs, not governments – over the past five years, the public sector employed around 200,000 people, whereas the private sector put wages in the pockets of more than 1.1 million West Australians.

“Helping business work will help put Western Australians back to work, and with a state-wide jobless rate of 6.6 per cent, slugging the business community with a tax hike is not what will help solve WA’s unemployment problem.”

How to create jobs

In a government how-to guide sent by CCI, business is calling on the leaders of both major parties to commit to real, permanent payroll tax reform to create nearly 900 jobs for West Australian workers.

Independent modelling has found that lifting the payroll tax threshold by $100,000 will see 278 direct jobs and 602 indirect jobs created across the economy.

A $100,000 threshold lift will directly benefit between 10,000 and 12,000 small and medium sized businesses.

Willmott says if either party is serious about jobs and helping Mum-and-Dad businesses, they will commit to meaningful payroll tax reform as a priority for the next term of government.

“Small and medium businesses are tearing their hair out and telling CCI that they want to be able to give jobs to workers, but their business simply cannot withstand hitting the $850,000 payroll tax threshold and being crushed by the extra tax burden – Mum-and-Dad businesses need money back in their pocket so they can grow their business and create jobs for young people, unemployed workers and the rest of the community,” Willmott says.

“CCI has a plan for job creation – whichever party forms the next State Government should permanently lift the payroll tax threshold to help businesses grow and create 900 jobs for West Australian workers. At a minimum, payroll tax should be immediately indexed to CPI to prevent further bracket creep and over the next term of government, the threshold should begin increasing incrementally to eventually reach $1.5 million, before the tax is abolished completely.

“However –the WA Nationals’ proposal to fund temporary payroll tax relief by slugging mining companies with a tax hike is not the way West Australians should aspire to do business. This toxic proposal will harm local businesses throughout the resources supply chain, damage business confidence and deter investment, all the while sending 90 per cent of the proceeds to other states through the GST.

“WA business doesn’t want Brendon Grylls to rob Peter to pay Paul – what WA business needs is a permanent lift in the payroll tax threshold, not a two year break that simply wreaks havoc on our resources industry.”

► To find out how much you could save from a payroll tax break, check out CCI's Payroll Tax Calculator.