WA business cautions against mining tax hike

Written on the 10 August 2016

WA business cautions against mining tax hike

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) has cautioned new Nationals leader Brendon Grylls against slugging the engine room of the West Australian economy with higher mining taxes.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said the proposal was not supported by business and was unlikely to proceed given it would need the support of the Nationals' alliance partners.
"Governments cannot unilaterally alter State Agreements in Western Australia proposals like this simply diminish WA's standing in the eyes of the global business community and reduce their appetite to make new investment decisions here," Ms Willmott said.

"Business didn't spend four years fighting the former federal Labor Government's mining tax to be slugged by the State Government.

"This couldn't come at a worse time because business is trying to turn the corner after months of difficult conditions and we expect this proposal will reverse any green shoots in business confidence."

Ms Willmott said using a tax increase on larger businesses to fund payroll tax cuts was totally unacceptable.

"This is robbing Peter to pay Paul and would actually have the perverse effect of reducing opportunity for businesses of all sizes in Western Australia," she said.

"The State Government should be focusing on lowering taxes including payroll tax on business by reducing its own spending and reducing debt including through asset sales."

Ms Willmott said details of Mr Gryll's proposal were unclear.

"If the $5 increase was counted as a royalty it would actually have the perverse effect of increasing the amount of money we have to pay to the Commonwealth Grants Commission - for every $100 million in additional revenue that this mining tax would deliver the state through increased royalties, Western Australia would redistribute $89 million
through the GST process," she said.

"Mr Grylls has an impressive record in championing regional interests we'd urge him to go back to the drawing board so we can collaborate to achieve real and practical outcomes for regional businesses."

Source: CCIWA Media Release

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