VIC Industry Calls For No New Taxes

The Australian Industry Group has called on the Victorian Government to reassure the community that there will be no new taxes following the announcement of a GST windfall for the State.

“With Victoria already the highest taxing state, business and the community must not be expected the shoulder any more of the spiralling costs incurred by the State Government,” according to the Victorian Head of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper.

“Over recent years, businesses have seen taxes increase at such a rate that they are questioning their own viability in an increasingly competitive environment.

“Businesses have shown us their land tax information which documents increases of more than 1000 percent over the past five years. This is untenable when you add the cost of Worksafe premium increases, payroll tax levies that have been imposed and the myriad of State Government regulatory charges.

“The Government must recognise that small and medium-sized businesses are being forced out of business or at least are having to reconsider their options. Some are looking overseas, many are considering interstate alternatives, while others will close down,” Mr Piper said.

“This is not good for the longer-term health of the Victorian economy. These losses might not happen overnight but they will happen if the Government keeps taxing businesses that can’t afford it. And that will mean the loss of Government income and fewer jobs,” he said.

Mr Piper said the next State budget was one of the most important in the State’s history.

“The Government needs to run a very fine line between reducing state debt, keeping business confidence and employment up: not by increasing taxes further but by more disciplined monitoring of costs while maintaining spending on worthy projects.

“This will be a vital budget but one that must not detract from the operations of big, medium and small employers in Victoria’s private sector,” Mr Piper said.

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