Iemma Payroll tax cuts ‘nowhere near enough’ to compete with Queensland, Thomas George says

06 June 2008

Modest, phased reductions to payroll tax announced in Tuesday’s NSW Budget still leave North Coast businesses at a massive competitive disadvantage compared to their Queensland counterparts, Member for Lismore Thomas George said today.

Lismore MP Thomas George said businesses in Northern NSW were worst hit because of their proximity to the Queensland border.

“Even when the NSW reforms are fully phased in by January 2011, our payroll tax will still be 5.5 per cent with a threshold of about $700,000 compared to today’s Queensland 4.75 per cent with a $1 million threshold, ” Mr George said.

That means a Northern Rivers business with a $900,000 wages bill will pay $54,000 this year and $49,500 in 2011, but a similar size business over the border pays nothing.

Lismore MP Thomas George whose electorate includes part of the Tweed & Murwillumbah said firms as far south as Lismore were losing out to their Queensland competitors because of payroll tax.

“The real problem is the threshold,” Mr George said.

“It is very hard to compete when you have to factor a thousand dollar-a-week payroll tax bill into your quotes for work. ”

The issue provided for a heated exchange in Parliament this week with Premier Morris Iemma quoting media comments by Tweed Economic Development Corporation CEO Tom Senti to claim the budget had its support.

Thomas George said those quotes were selective to the point of being misleading.

“We all agree any reduction in payroll tax is a step in the right direction, but this doesn’t alter the fact that it is still much cheaper to do business in Queensland, particularly when you take into account other taxes like stamp duty and land tax which are higher in NSW.”

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.