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Mining Tax passage hides bitter pill for employers

Release Date: 20/03/2012

Statement by Peter Anderson, Chief Executive
Last night’s passage of the mining tax hides a bitter pill for the nations one million employers – higher compulsory superannuation payments in seven of the next eight years, says Australia’s leading and most representative business association, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
Speaking after the Senate vote, ACCI Chief Executive Peter Anderson said: “The mining tax passage doesn’t spread the benefit of the mining tax boom to non-mining business because hidden in the detail is a 3% or $20 billion per year rise in the superannuation levy paid by employers large and small”.
“Last week’s debate about business tax concessions in the mining tax was a sideshow when understood that today’s superannuation levy increase swamps the value of the tax concessions in every category of employing business, large and small. And there are more employers paying the levy than there are incorporated businesses getting a tax cut.”
“Seen in the context of the superannuation levy, the mining tax passage has been a dark period in transparency and public policy for the Australian parliament. In short, the parliament misled the public and short-changed one million employers:
  • the public think the mining tax is paying for higher superannuation when truth is, one million employers and small businesses are;
  • the superannuation levy was hidden in the mining tax Bills, which limited parliamentary transparency and scrutiny;
  • the tax concessions to non-mining businesses fail to even nearly compensate for the 3% increase in payroll levy.
“It’s unbelievable that a 3% levy increase on the payroll of a million private businesses has been imposed without a funding basis. Yet that is what the government has done. It has legislated the levy rise and will work out how to pay for it later. There isn’t even the wage trade-off provision that the Keating government legislated when the super levy started in 1992.”
“And it’s insulting to the nations employers for the Senate to report, as it did last week, that because the increase applies in seven stages it can be afforded. How increasing a payroll levy every year for the next seven years ends up making the levy affordable is beyond logic”. Mr Anderson said.
With the Bills passed, ACCI is now calling on the government and the Coalition to both find a funding base for the levy rise, and to announce their plans on budget night 2012, well in advance of the first rise in the superannuation levy in July 2013.

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