JobKeeper payments need to be exempt from payroll tax

The Federal Government’s $1,500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments need to be exempt from Victoria’s payroll tax.

The Federal Government’s historic JobKeeper payment is designed to keep businesses connected to their workforce and to keep workers afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, under existing Victorian law, these payments will attract payroll tax. In some cases, where the businesses employ mainly juniors or those on lower wages, the JobKeeper payment will be higher than pre-existing wages. It is unfair that employers in that situation should now face a Victorian payroll tax bill for receiving Federal Government support.

When the Parliament next sits, the Government needs to include payroll tax exemption for these payments. There must be no unintended and unfair impost on businesses already impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions introduced to limit its spread.

Other Australian parliaments, including the Federal Parliament and those of New South Wales and South Australia, have continued to meet as needed since the pandemic. It is time the Victorian Parliament met, so unintended consequences of fast-moving changes are dealt with.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“Victoria’s limited payroll tax relief for COVID-19 cuts out at just $3 million, compared to $10 million in NSW.

“Federal JobKeeker payments must not increase payroll tax liability for Victorian businesses or make them ineligible for the limited relief available”.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Victorian employers who are keeping their workforce on during COVID-19 need to know they won’t be paying additional payroll tax on Federal Government JobKeeper payments.

“The Federal JobKeeper support must not be an inadvertent tax grab for Victorian payroll tax.”

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