The Liberal Opposition must continue to hold the McGowan Government to account for their broken promise to not introduce any new taxes, fees or charges, and to protect WA jobs.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA (CCI) Chief Economist Rick Newnham said the Liberal Party voted to block the gold royalty rate increase because the McGowan Government has no mandate to increase taxes that will cost WA jobs.

“The Liberals must now join with the crossbenchers and National Party to commit to blocking the Government’s ill-conceived payroll tax hike, which will cost more than 1,300 WA jobs in the first year of the cash grab alone,” Mr Newnham said.

“This won’t have a “negligible” impact on jobs, as the Government has claimed, and won’t just be quarantined to large businesses who were targeted by the tax hike.

“These costs will be passed on through the supply chain to small and medium businesses that are already struggling from the downturn in WA’s economy.”

To truly protect WA’s small and medium sized businesses, CCI has called on the Government, to at the very least, increase the payroll tax threshold by $100,000 – from $850,000 to $950,00 – to help offset the more than 1,300 jobs that will be lost in the first year.

Mr Newnham said independent research commissioned by CCI found that lifting the payroll tax threshold by $100,000 would create nearly 900 jobs in WA – directly and indirectly – with a $283 million economic benefit to the state.

“Limiting the impact of this tax hike by raising the payroll tax threshold will help stem the loss of jobs in small businesses, and boost confidence in the WA business community,” Mr Newnham said.

“CCI is committed to budget repair which is why our pre-budget submission recommended that the Government focus on spending restraint, not increased taxes.

“WA is the highest spending government per person of all the states, and already had the highest payroll tax burden in Australia. But instead of bringing spending back into line with the rest of the country, where it is sustainable, or protecting WA jobs, the Government will be hitting business with higher taxes.

“This is about WA jobs and the need to protect small businesses.

“If the Government is truly committed to protecting WA jobs then they will drop this cash grab immediately, and if they won’t, the Opposition must defend workers and small businesses by, at the very least, increasing the payroll tax threshold.”