Nearly two thirds of Western Australian businesses would create jobs if they did not have to pay payroll tax, according to a new survey from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI).
About 64 per cent of business owners already paying the tax said they would employ more staff if the threshold was raised to above their total payroll.
The construction sector, followed by the information media and telecommunications sector were most likely to increase employment.
A third of business owners said their current payroll tax bill either significantly impacted their hiring decisions or stopped them hiring altogether.
The survey comes after independent modelling commissioned by CCI found that nearly 900 jobs would be created if the payroll tax threshold were lifted by $100,000.
CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said it was time for WA Labor leader Mark McGowan to show he was serious about jobs and job creation and commit a WA Labor Government to payroll tax reform, should his party win government on March 11.
“Western Australian businesses have spoken – they need payroll tax relief now so they can do what business does best, which is create jobs for workers,” Ms Willmott said.
“CCI’s latest survey confirms what we have known for a long time – most WA bosses want to create jobs and offer more hours for workers, but payroll tax is holding them back.
“At a time when WA’s jobless rate is the highest in the country and our youth unemployment rate is 14.9 per cent – miles ahead of the national average of 13.5 per cent – this barrier to job creation simply must go.
“It is business that creates jobs, not governments – four out of five jobs in WA are created by the private sector, so business was delighted by Mark McGowan’s recent commitment to introduce no new or increased taxes for business if WA Labor forms government – the WA business community now urges Mr McGowan to continue this recognition of the role of business in creating jobs and commit to payroll tax relief for small and medium businesses.
“WA business has welcomed the Liberal Party’s pledge to lift the payroll tax threshold by $50,000 if elected – this measure would create around 450 jobs if enacted and would reduce or remove the tax burden for more than 11,000 businesses, who would then have vital cash to spend on new jobs for workers and extra hours for current staff.”
► Is payroll tax hurting your business? Visit CCI’s Payroll Tax Calculator to find out how much you could save if the threshold was lifted.
► View the full results of the survey here