Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    Opposition claims of support for small business misleading

    19/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    Small Business Minister Gordon Hill says the Opposition is being less than honest over the effect its policies would have on small business in Western Australia.
     
    "The Opposition claims it is sympathetic to the concerns of small businessmen and women, yet it is willing to shackle them to a Federal GST policy which is nothing short of an administrative nightmare," Mr Hill said.
     
    "What they are promising is to replace payroll tax with a new 15 per cent tax - the GST.
     
    "That package would see small business hit by company tax rising from 39 cents to 42 cents, GST adding directly and indirectly to costs and GST creating more paperwork and passing the responsibility of declaration on to the small business.
     
    "All small businesses should think about the prospect of involuntarily becoming an unpaid debt collector for the tax office under a coalition Government," Mr Hill said.
     
    "The GST is a Value Added Tax - A VAT, similar to that imposed on the British - it imposes an additional burden on a small business through costly and cumbersome paperwork - accounting that a small business may have to pay someone to do for them."
     
    Mr Hill said that under the Premier's `Adding Value' package, existing incentives for business would remain and further initiatives would be put in place.
     
    "The package abolishes payroll tax for a further 1,400 businesses in WA - this means that 92 per cent of small businesses will not have to pay any payroll tax and will not have a new tax, (the GST) imposed on them.
     
    "The Premier also announced that she would reduce by at least half, the number of licences and regulations which currently apply to small business in WA, and ensure that by July next year, no regulations were more than eight years old.
     
    "The Government will also abolish the renewal fee for business registrations and keep the fee for new registrations within the CPI," Mr Hill said.
     
    The Minister said many of the State's small businesses which were struggling to survive the worldwide recession, would have no chance under Fightback and the GST.
     
    "In addition to increases of 10 per cent or more for electricity, water, rates and other business costs, they would have to meet the considerable cost of complying with the GST requirements,"  he said.
     
    "At present, they do not have to worry about indirect taxes.
     
    "With a GST they would have to be on top of what attracts a GST and what does not - what the Opposition is offering them is not salvation, but paper-slavery," Mr Hill said.