Tom Stephens

Tom Stephens

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    Opposition policies damaging to Mid-West businesses

    22/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    The Opposition's policies on tourism and small business will do irreparable damage to the Mid-West.
     
    Mid-West Minister Tom Stephens said today that tourism and small business - the focus of the Opposition's policy - would both be devastated by the Liberals' proposed GST.
     
    "Richard Court's Mid-West policy simply and limply adopts the national Fightback-GST package of extra taxes and time-wasting red tape," Mr Stephens said.
     
    "It is recognised in the tourism industry that WA will be hardest hit by Fightback.  Airfares, meals and accommodation will rise, and GST will also be a disincentive to investment in tourism developments because of increased building costs.
     
    "On top of this, Fightback proposes changes to employment conditions by removing penalty rates."
     
    Mr Stephens said the Opposition's promise to remove payroll tax was a hoax.  It was entirely dependent on a Hewson Government being elected in Canberra and GST being imposed.
     
    "The Government has already acted to exempt the bulk of businesses from payroll tax," he said.
     
    "The Opposition's limp adoption of the national Fightback-GST package simply meant that small businesses would be hit by company tax going up from 39 cents to 42 cents, and GST adding directly and indirectly to costs and causing an administrative and time-wasting nightmare.
     
    "And their promise to review business licences is just a copy of the Premier's announcement in her 'Adding Value' plan.
     
    Mr Stephens said many of the Mid-West's small businesses, already struggling to survive, would have no chance under Fightback and the GST.
     
    They would have to become experts on what attracted GST and what did not, and would need a new accounting system so they could collect the tax for the Treasury.
     
    "It is clear the Opposition is bereft of ideas for the Mid-West when they make promises like completing the Geraldton Marina and promoting wildflowers," the Minister said.
     
    "And the Government last year made a commitment to create the Chapman River Valley Regional Park under its Geraldton Region Plan."