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Labor admits to ripping off small business.

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The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

Labor admits to ripping off small business Media Release - 7 April 2004

The Western Australian Labor Government must immediately take the burden off small business and reduce stamp duty on insurance premiums, the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey, said today.

It isn’t good enough that Labor Treasurer Eric Ripper has admitted that his stamp duty rip-off needs to reviewed. (ABC 720 Perth, 02/04/04)

It is simply unacceptable that taxes on insurance premiums under the Western Australian Labor Government are the 9th highest in the world. Because of the greed and economic mismanagement of the WA Labor Government, more than one-third of a premium is levied by state taxes and charges.

Small businesses in Western Australia, operating on tight margins and already struggling thanks to the pro-trade union agenda of the Labor Government, cannot continue to put their hard earned dollars directly into the pockets of Mr Ripper and Mr Gallop.

There’s no need for a review because the WA Labor Government has known about this rort for years and the Federal Government released a report by Trowbridge Deloitte last July that detailed the stamp duty rip off.

Unfortunately this issue has only come to a head because the WA Labor Government became far too greedy and tried to extend the stamp duty rip off on to travel insurance and travel accident insurance premiums. Initially they weren’t looking to review the Stamp Act with a mind to reducing stamp duty, they were looking to extend it!

According to the insurance and tourism industries, this extension of stamp duty would have pushed up the cost of insurance for Australians travelling overseas. The WA Labor Government stands condemned for putting Australian families at risk when travelling internationally by pushing up the cost of this vital protection.

While the WA Labor Government wastes time with this façade of a review, small businesses across Western Australia are struggling to pay for their insurance. Too many small businesses are without adequate insurance cover, putting the viability of many other

businesses at risk as well.

Inflated insurance costs are an enormous risk to the livelihoods of many families and pose an enormous threat to the economy. The WA Labor Government must stop fiddling around and cut stamp duty on insurance premiums.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, 0408 974 349