- Payroll tax relief to companies employing people with a disability or indigenous Australians
- $130million in social housing over next 2 years
- $286m over next 4 years on Cost of Living Assistance Payment to help low income households
- $8.5m over 3 years on Seniors Cost of Living Rebate and Seniors Safety and Security Rebate
The State Government will provide $7million over four years towards two new ongoing payroll tax relief measures aimed at encouraging the employment of people with a disability, or of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Treasurer Christian Porter said that from July 1, 2012 businesses would be exempt from payroll tax for wages paid in the first two years of employment of new employees with a disability for whom they receive a Commonwealth Disability Employment Services wage subsidy, or who are eligible for any form of WA Disability Services Commission support.
Small Business Minister Simon O’Brien said the payroll tax exemption was estimated to cost $5million over four years, with employers saving about $2,700 for each new employee with a disability.
It is currently estimated that wages paid to about 2,100 new employees will be exempted over the four-year budget period.
Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said this initiative would ensure more jobs were accessible to people with a disability while helping employers to fill important positions.
Mr Porter also said that from July 1, 2012 businesses with an Australia wide annual group payroll of up to $15million would be eligible for a rebate of 100 per cent of the payroll tax they pay on wages in the first two years of employment of new indigenous employees for whom they also receive a Commonwealth Indigenous Wage Subsidy.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier said Aboriginal people remained among the most severely disadvantaged groups in the labour market, and the rebate would help improve their employment opportunities.
The rebate is expected to cost about $1million over the four-year budget period, with employers saving about $3,800 for each new indigenous employee.
Employers who meet the payroll threshold test will be paid the payroll tax rebate at the end of each financial year provided they have supplied details of wages paid to new indigenous employees as part of their annual payroll tax reconciliation process.
The Treasurer said both measures would make it more attractive for businesses to employ members of the community whose attributes might otherwise go under-recognised.
“This will be a win-win for the employer and the employee,” he said.
The Government will also provide a significant boost to social housing in the 2012-13 State Budget through the injection of $130million over the next two years to fund the construction of 433 homes for some of the most vulnerable families and individuals in WA.
Housing Minister Troy Buswell said $120million had also been allocated over four years for maintenance of essential services under the Remote Area Essential Services Program.
An additional $26million has also been provided in the Budget over four years for the provision of housing and support services to clients of the Mental Health Commission, Disability Services Commission, and Drug and Alcohol Office.
This is part of an increase in expenditure by the Liberal-National Government in the 2012-13 Budget on mental health services (up $46million or 7.5 per cent in 2012-13) and disability services (up $67million or 10.2 per cent in 2012-13).
In addition, $6million over four years will be spent on the cost of operating and maintaining swimming pools in Fitzroy Crossing and five remote Aboriginal communities - Bidyadanga, Burringurrah, Jigalong, Warmun and Yandeyarra.
Seniors and Volunteering Minister Robyn McSweeney said the Government would also spend an extra $8.5million over three years on the Seniors Cost of Living Rebate and the Seniors Safety and Security Rebate. It had also extended the Seniors Security Rebate program for a one-off rebate of up to $400 for eligible household security devices and safety items.
Mr Porter said $286million had also been allocated over the next four years to a new Cost of Living Assistance payment to help low income households with electricity bills. About one-third of WA households would be eligible for a payment of $200 per year under this new initiative.
In addition, the Government has increased the allocation to the Hardship Utilities Grants Scheme in 2012-15 by $7.6million to a total of $11.7million.
“The Government is committed to helping those in the community at risk or who need assistance to get them through difficult circumstances,” the Treasurer said.
- $150.7m was spent in the 2011-12 Budget to build or buy 284 houses to enable 455 West Australians with a mental illness, disability or recovering from drug or alcohol problems to live in their own home
- Under this Government, the Seniors Cost of Living Rebate has increased to $155.25 for singles in 2012-13 and to $232.90 for couples over the same period
- WA Budget statements are available at
Treasurer's office - 6552 5600