Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Liberals side with scare campaign over trainees and small business

    11/04/2018 5:05 PM
    • Liberal Party vows to oppose reforms which support small business and trainees
    • Dean Nalder and Mike Nahan passionately defend a status quo which has become rife with rorting 

    The Liberal Party of Western Australia's decision to oppose the proposed reform to the Payroll Tax Assessment Amendment (Exemption for Trainees) Bill 2018 shows how they have abandoned small businesses and that their disdain for the WA taxpayer continues.


    The reforms were aimed at better targeting taxpayers' support for training schemes to ensure that they better reflected workforce needs and were more in line with community expectations. They were introduced after the Department of Finance revealed widespread abuse.


    The Liberal Party has ignored, both in government and now in Opposition, evidence of widespread rorting of the payroll tax exemption.


    The WA taxpayer offers very generous support to employers that undertake legitimate training.  However, due to the longstanding flaws in the system, it is open to abuse.  The fact that abuse of the clear intent of the training support is legal, highlights the importance of reform.


    The challenges of skilling our workforce are well documented, which is why the McGowan Government has aimed for a system that best supports all businesses in skilling their workforce for the jobs of the future.


    The Shadow Treasurer has decided today to put at risk funding towards 17,000 training places, in order to appease groups with a vested interest in seeing this flawed system remain.


    Comments attributed to Finance Minister Ben Wyatt:


    "The current system, whilst perfectly legal, is widely regarded as a 'rort' and only a party with no intention of reforming their image as fiscal vandals beholden to special interests would show such disregard for a proposal to impose fairness and efficiency to the payroll tax system.


    "The proposed reform will see all savings directed into funding further training places, towards 17,000 in 2018 alone. Further, it gives us the opportunity to extend training support to small businesses who currently receive no training support.


    "The Liberal Party has moved to kill off a proposal to allow the State's smallest businesses to access training support. These businesses are often the incubators for innovation and they should all be aware of how they have been abandoned by the Liberal Party.


    "Rather than a 'tax grab' as the Shadow Treasurer attempted to argue, this scheme would have seen every dollar raised put back into the training needs of our workforce. This money is not available elsewhere, which means the actions of Mike Nahan and Dean Nalder have threatened the very existence of 17,000 training places.


    "I remain optimistic that other parties in the Parliament will have a more constructive approach and help deliver a reform which provides more effective training for our workforce, more support for small businesses and better value for WA taxpayers."


    Minister's office - 6552 5900