Newman vows to slash payroll tax

LNP leader Campbell Newman commits to lifting payroll tax exemption if he wins Queensland election

By Jayne McIntyre | February 21, 2012

The Queensland Liberal-National Party has vowed to help business by lifting the payroll tax exemption threshold and cutting red tape if it wins next month’s state election.

In an economic blueprint released this week, LNP leader and former Brisbane Mayor Campbell Newman outlines commitments to help get Queensland’s growth on track.

This includes expanding the payroll tax exemption from $1 million to $1.6 million over the next six years and cutting red tape regulation by 20 percent.

The LNP has also pledged to reduce Queensland’s unemployment rate to 4 percent by 2018 and return the budget to surplus by 2014-15.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has welcomed the new policy commitments, especially those targeted towards the state’s small to medium enterprises.

"Payroll tax is anti-employment and acts as a clear impediment to small and medium business increasing their workforce, and combined with the other proposals put forward by the LNP will mean more jobs in Queensland, brighter prospects for small business and a real shot in the arm for our members," CCIQ President David Goodwin says.

Queensland businesses currently pay a basic flat rate of 4.75 percent on total wages over $1 million – the lowest rate in the country.

Aside from potential reductions in payroll tax, Goodwin says the LNP’s commitment to reducing red tape is also a valuable starting point.

"Over the past three years the number of pages of regulations that Queensland businesses have to comply with has grown by 30 percent and as such Queensland businesses are now required to comply with over 92,172 pages of red tape," he says.

Goodwin says this translates to $7 billion in added costs for Queensland business and the economy every year.

According to the LNP’s economic plan, the party will establish a Commission of Audit to look over of the state’s finances within two weeks of forming government.

The Commission will then be tasked with detailing Queensland’s current and long-term liabilities and charting a path to return its AAA credit rating.

In light of Queensland’s booming resources sector, the LNP says it will reform the training system with a focus to produce skilled, job-ready employees.

This, along with some of the other objectives, will be achieved through a ‘five-step fiscal principles’ plan designed to help control government spending.

CCIQ says it will be encouraging the ALP over coming weeks to adopt a similar business, jobs and economy friendly strategy.

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