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Willis plans small business tax grab

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ALAN C ADMAN Acting Shadow Minister for Small Business Member for Mitchell M E D I A R E L E A S E



"Increased taxes for small business are clearly the Keating Government's hidden agenda", said M r Alan Cadman MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business.

"The Keating Labor Government has signalled its blatant disregard for small business growth and Australia's unemployed, in its latest move to increase the tax take from small businesses.

"The Government's message to small business is clear:

You've never had it so good, so now you will pay

A Treasury Research Paper, entitled What future fo r payroll taxes in Australia has suggested three directions for improving the efficiency o f payroll tax collections, all o f which would be to the detriment o f small businesses.

"These proposals come on top o f the Treasurer's 1995-96 Budget that was simply a tax grab against small business.

"The Treasurer must immediately clarify:

• will the Keating Government push to remove or reduce small businesses exemption from State payroll taxes? • will the Keating Government move to make State Payroll Taxes consistent with Commonwealth fringe benefits tax and pay-as-you-eam (PAYE) tax bases? • why the Federal Government will interfere in State taxation issues?

"The questions that small businesses around Australia want the Treasurer to immediately answer are:

• what sized tax increases would be required to make state payroll taxes consistent with the Commonwealth's fringe benefits tax and pay-as-you-eam (PAYE) tax bases? • what additional tax impost would small businesses face from the Federal Government's push to remove or reduce small business exemptions from payroll taxes? and • what impact would the Government's proposal have on Australia's unemployment rate?

"Nowhere in the Treasury statement does it indicate how much it will cost small businesses. But this proposal will cost small businesses and would certainly create further unemployment.

"This is yet another astonishing assault on the small business sector by a Government that has no understanding o f the contribution o f small businesses to the economic and social welfare o f this country.

"The Treasurer should concentrate on getting his own house in order before he starts lecturing to the States about taxation reforms.

"Small businesses want action on the issues under the Keating Government's control, as a matter o f urgency, not higher taxes that will reduce growth, employment, investment and Australian small businesses international competitiveness.

"Small businesses and everyone o f Australia's 753,200 unemployed have again been sold out by the Keating Government."

10 September, 1995 CANBERRA 02 653 1302 Ah