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Payroll tax hit on businesses and tourism

State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish is concerned for the regions businesses and the tourism industry after the Victorian Labor Government discontinued payroll tax concessions and instead moved to increase them.

Ms McLeish said, “Businesses, particularly tourism and hospitality, which are vital to our region, have really struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The payroll tax concession for payrolls under $3 million ended on 30 June and despite Victoria being the hardest hit by the virus, the Premier refuses to give businesses a break.

The Andrews Labor Government will now take up to 4.85 per cent payroll tax from Victorian businesses. A business with a payroll of under $3 million, could pay in excess of $100,000 in payroll tax over the course of 2020-21. Many simply cannot afford it right now and the Premier’s callous move could force them to shut up shop.

“This concession was a lifeline for many local businesses. It is difficult to comprehend why the State Labor Government won’t extend it. Increasing payroll tax is almost setting businesses up for failure.”

“We’re not out of the COVID-19 woods yet and this decision may result in businesses having to permanently close their doors, causing a snowball effect on the tourism industry and a rise in unemployment numbers.”

In the past two months, a shocking 200,000 Victorians have already lost their jobs.

The Premier’s decision to scrap these vital tax concessions while increasing payroll tax threshold also provides a disincentive for businesses to hire, meaning Victorians who’ve been laid off will suffer as well.

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