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Small business hit hard by government's compulsory training levy

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Wilson Tuckey MPM E M B E R N O R o'C O N N O RS N A B O N M I N I S T E R E O R B O B S I N G A N D S M A L L BUSINESS S H A L L B U S I N E S S H I T H A R D B Y 6 Q V K R R M B S T 'S C O M P U L S O R Y T R A I N I N G L E V Y

The National compulsory training levy p r o posed and a p p arently approved recently by Cabinet will hit Small B u s iness yet again with

an added cost burden that is inappropriate for this sector of

i n d u s t r y , Wilson T u c k e y , Shadow Minister for H o u s i n g and Small B u s i n e s s , said t o d a y . .

The p r o p o s e 1, which will reguire small businesses with a payroll of

more than $200,000 a year to spend one p e r c e n t , rising to 1.5% in

1991/92, of that payroll on approved training for the e m p l o y e e s , will affect all companies employing more than ten p e o p l e .

These moves will involve around 50,000 (8 percent) of A u s t r a l i a 's a p p r o x . 700,000 small business e n t e r p r i s e s . These are the companies employing more than ten and less than 100 p e o p l e .

Many of Australia's b u s i n e s s e s , where appropriate, already exceed payroll expenditure of one percent on training and should be

encouraged and not forced to undertake such training. ·

A compulsory industry training levy is simply an indirect tax and

as with recent moves by the Treasurer to introduce p a y ment of 85%

of tax within 15 days of the end of the financial y e a r , clearly

demonstrates that both Keating and Dawkins do not und e r s t a n d the

workings of small B u s i n e s s .

This levy would add at Least $700m to industry e x p e n d i t u r e and is

not a burden that can be borne by small business esp e c i a l l y in the

current high interest e n v i r o n m e n t «

Imposing this indirect tax on small business e m p l o y e r s just because some of them might net presently offer training p r o g r a m m e s is

paramount to forcing all employers to train their employees irrespective of whether training is appropriate in that particular i n d u s t r y . ,

The training of people in employment should be between them and

their employers and that training and decisions about training should be locally based and not centralised by G o v e r n m e n t through a

National training fund.

Wilson Tuckey concluded by saying that "consistent with this view, industry must be e n c o u r a g e d , not taxed, to increase its training effort for its own and the nation's benefit.

Perth 25 September 1989 COMMONWEALTH

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