Economy

Payroll tax cut pledge to win business vote in WA election

SmartCompany /

Business issues have dominated the election agenda in Western Australia as the major parties pitch for the votes of small and medium sized business owners in the closely fought campaign.

Business issues have dominated the election agenda in Western Australia as the major parties pitch for the votes of small and medium sized business owners in the closely fought campaign.

Recycled Liberal leader Colin Barnett pledged to make tax cuts worth $250 million in a detail-light speech yesterday, and said payroll tax, stamp duty and land tax would all be cut.

West Australia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on both parties to cut the state’s payroll tax rate from 5.5%, one of the highest rates in the country.

But while Barnett’s promise was welcomed as heading in the right direction, the relatively small sum involved and lack of detail left the state’s key business group underwhelmed.

Shopping hours has also been a hot-button issue in the election. Labor leader Alan Carpenter had previously backed deregulation of the state’s restrictive trading hour regime, but in an early campaign backflip targeted at small business voters he promised to extend opening hours by just one hour on weeknights.

Barnett, for his part, has refused to commit to any changes to trading hours, but comments that he favours only “partial deregulation” suggest he would not be inclined to go any further than Labor.

Trading hours is an issue that divides the business community in WA, with small and medium sized retailers firmly opposed to any change but larger businesses and the state’s Chamber of Commerce heavily in favour of deregulation.

“WA consumers want extended trading hours and that deregulation in other states has seen better business for retailers and lower prices for customers. The need to do away with the current trading hours regime is urgent and compelling,” CCIWA chief executive James Pearson says.

Uranium mining has also captured headlines in the campaign, with Carpenter promising to ban the exploitation of the state’s significant uranium reserves despite voting against a Green bill to achieve just that only months ago.

The Liberal Party does not support a mining ban and says the legislation could leave the state open to claims for compensation from companies that have already been granted mining leases over areas with uranium deposits.

 

Read more on payroll tax and trading hours

 

Advertisement
SmartCompany

SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

FROM AROUND THE WEB