Business welcomes major parties’ ‘no tax’ pledges

21 February, 2017

Western Australia’s peak business body has welcomed commitments from both major parties that there will be no new taxes or tax increases imposed on the WA business community in the next term of government.

Earlier this month the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) wrote to Premier Colin Barnett and WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan and called on each to promise that their party – if elected on March 11 – would not introduce any new taxes, fees or levies on WA business and would not increase existing charges.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said the business community was pleased Mark McGowan had today finally made this commitment after a similar pledge was recently made by Treasurer Mike Nahan.

“CCI wrote to both parties earlier this month calling for no new taxes or increased charges on business in the next term of government, so business is extremely pleased by the commitment made by Mark McGowan today,” Ms Willmott said.

“It is restraint in budget expenditure growth – as previously called for by CCI – that needs to underpin any budget repair efforts, and a meaningful asset sales agenda will need to be part of any future government’s debt repair strategy.

“CCI wrote to both leaders to stress that it is business that creates jobs, not governments – four out of five jobs in WA are in the private sector, so during this time of high unemployment, business called on both leaders to recognise the role WA business plays in job creation and make a commitment to not raise existing charges on WA business or introduce any new taxes, fees or levies. Any increase in taxes, fees or charges on business would make it harder for the business community to grow and create jobs.

“Helping business work helps West Australians work, and what would help business work is payroll tax reform – independent modelling shows that lifting the payroll tax threshold by $100,000 would create nearly 900 jobs across the economy by putting money back in the hands of small and medium sized businesses so they can grow their operations and employ more workers.

“CCI welcomed the Liberal Party’s commitment to lift the payroll tax threshold last week and calls on Mark McGowan to build on today’s announcement and recognise the critical role business plays in job creation, by standing up for small business and committing a Labor Government to permanent payroll tax reform.”

Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227