Business groups are warning Clive Palmer’s move to block $9 billion in budget savings is a blow to business confidence.
Yesterday the mining mogul turned politician said the Palmer United Party senators will oppose three measures associated with the repeal of the mining tax.
PUP will back the abolition of the mining tax, but Palmer has put costly conditions on his support, and says he will fight to keep the Schoolkids Bonus, the Income Support Bonus, and the Low Income Support Contribution.
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Kate Cornell, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told SmartCompany businesses want the government to get the budget back on track.
“What business is after is confidence in the direction that the Federal Parliament is taking Australia in,” she says.
“What we are ending up with at the moment is a mess. It is an area where the only things that it seems will pass are the new tax on high income earners.”
Cornell says Palmer’s approach seems to be that he is happy to get rid of the mining tax, which will bring in revenue, but not any of the programs the mining tax was intended to fund, which work out to about $9 billion.
“There seems to be a bit of all care and no responsibility here at the moment,” Cornell says.
In an open letter to Palmer circulated yesterday, Taxpayers Australia urged him to remember small businesses.
The group called on Palmer and the PUP to oppose the repeal of the motor vehicle tax concession for small business, concessional depreciation write-off for small business and loss carry-back rules for companies.
“Small businesses are doing it tough and removing these tax breaks is a slap in the face to those businesses which employ millions of Australians and are crucial to our ongoing economic success,” the letter states.
“So Clive we are asking you, don’t focus just on the Schoolkids Bonus. Look at all those other tax breaks which will go when the mining tax is abolished and take a stand on behalf of Australian small business.”