The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, has slammed yesterday’s announcement by NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley that, if elected next March, he will renege on the promised lifting of the payroll tax threshold for small businesses across NSW.
“As we head toward the Christmas break, this is a slap in the face for the business community and the workers that they employ,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“Michael Daley’s announcement couldn’t come at a worse time, with the NSW Budget half‑yearly review revealing headwinds on the horizon. His announcement jeopardises jobs growth and risks increasing unemployment, reversing the huge gains made in recent years,” Mr Cartwright said.
“At the time of taking on the leadership of the Opposition, we took at face value Mr Daley’s commitment that he would look to work in partnership with business and would provide an environment of stability for investment.
“Michael Daley’s intention to prevent Boxing Day trade, and now to block important tax reforms, suggests that the Opposition Leader wants to take NSW back to the dark days of the last Labor Government where NSW had the highest unemployment levels in the nation, and business is rightfully spooked as to what a Daley Labor Government would actually mean for NSW.
“Payroll tax, particularly for those businesses sitting close to threshold, penalises a business for taking on additional employees, while also increasing compliance costs by around $10,000 per year.
“Lifting the payroll tax threshold progressively to $1 million will keep 5,000 business out of the payroll tax system and save them $10,000 in annual red tape costs in meeting their obligations.
“We need to lock in the promised payroll tax reforms that support small business and employment growth, particularly in regional NSW.
“Business is willing to work with Mr Daley on a forward policy agenda that encourages employment, growth and investment, but his recent backflips on sensible and important reforms are a huge concern,” Mr Cartwright said.