Payroll tax could be scrapped as virus bites
PAYROLL tax could be scrapped in Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the Palaszczuk Government is considering putting a temporary halt on the tax after being inundated by desperate businesses trying to access its new 12-month interest free loan scheme.
Treasurer Jackie Trad said more than 6000 struggling operators had lodged expressions of interest with the Government in the $500 million loan scheme since it was announced just a week ago.
She confirmed the Government was considering a suite of additional measures to help the sectors most affected.
"As of Sunday, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority had received over 6000 expressions of interest in the 12-month interest free loans from Queensland businesses," Ms Trad said.
"The Palaszczuk Government is talking to business and industry groups about other measures to protect Queensland jobs and businesses."
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland yesterday insisted the Government's recent announcement that it would defer payroll tax was not enough to save business struggling with a downturn caused by the pandemic.
A survey of CCIQ members yesterday found scrapping payroll tax topped the wish list of businesses, following by cash support for sole traders and waiving increases in power, water and waste fees.
"We have been calling for a 6-month payroll tax waiver for businesses with wages up to $5 million which will directly support over 9,000 businesses and there has been no response," CCIQ general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said.
"Businesses need support now and taking away one of their major costs will be the relief they need to stabilise their jobs."
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has also been demanding a Queensland stimulus package, including payroll tax relief, following announcements by almost every other state.
"The Palaszczuk government is now the only state government that is yet to announce a major stimulus package," she said. "Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad are failing to listen to the chorus of business leaders calling for payroll tax exemptions to protect jobs."
Originally published as Payroll tax could be scrapped as virus bites