During questions from the opposition during yesterday’s estimates hearing, ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr revealed the government is reconsidering its proposed payroll tax amendments to remove the genuine employer exemption, due to their affect on ACT small businesses and contractors. Only after an outcry from small business and the Canberra Liberals has Mr Barr acted, Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth said today.
“The Treasurer conceded that consultations after the budget was announced revealed the difficulties this bill has caused ACT businesses. I am astounded at the lack of forethought the government has put into this bill,” Mr Smyth said.
“The government seemed unaware that most of the negotiations for contracts for the coming financial year, especially with the federal government, have in the main been concluded.
“It is amazing that at a time that the government has funded a program to assist federal public servants moving into private enterprise, they are taking away the exemption that will in many cases make that move viable.
“Additionally, the proposed changes have a short term impact of favouring multinational companies.
“At a time when we should be making it easier for ACT small businesses and contractors, this is yet again an ill-conceived and ill-timed proposal by the government simply to raise extra revenue to pay for the government’s addiction to spending,” Mr Smyth concluded.