Recent claims that NSW is ‘open for business’ do not ring true with most local small business owners. NSW businesses in this region are losing out to their interstate rivals due to the difference in payroll tax and workers compensation charges in NSW compared to Queensland.
At the end of last year in Parliament, I called for business regulations to be cut immediately and offered examples of businesses throughout the Lismore Electorate that are consistently being edged out on major State Government contracts because they cannot afford to compete with their Queensland counterparts.
I have spoken to several local business operators who are losing business to their Queensland rivals all because they are forced to contend with astronomical payroll tax and workers compensation charges.
These include one local plastering company that was recently outbid for five lucrative State Government contracts by its Queensland competitors. In each case the difference between the two bids ranged between $67,000 and $13,277, which is the variance in Government charges paid as a result of being based in NSW.
This is all because NSW businesses are clearly disadvantaged each year in payroll tax and workers compensation charges compared to their Queensland competitors. The Liberal/Nationals Coalition has an alternative plan for small business which includes:
- Slashing red tape and dramatically reducing payroll tax facing NSW businesses;
- Delivering a $262 million boost to business in 2007/08 through cutting payroll tax and encouraging businesses owners to reinvest in NSW;
- Raising the tax free threshold on annual payrolls from $600,000 to $850,000, the Liberal/Nationals Coalition will also ensure 4,500 businesses across the state will pay no payroll tax at all;
- Exempting business owners from having to pay workers compensation premiums for apprentices; and
- Cutting business regulation levels by 5 per cent each year in our first term in office.