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Protect jobs through payroll tax cuts and AAA credit rating

09 June, 2009

“NSW business owners and operators are doing it tough at the moment and fast tracking the payroll tax cuts in the next NSW Budget would help them preserve jobs,” said Kevin MacDonald, CEO of NSW Business Chamber.

MacDonald said that NSW’s sobering unemployment rate of 6% supported the need to fast-track the scheduled cut in payroll tax from 5.75% to 5.5% by 1 January 2010.  This would be a full year ahead of the original timetable of 1 January 2011 and save NSW businesses an average of $475 million a year.

“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs. What we are proposing is a modest and achievable policy change that would help NSW businesses to keep people in jobs.

MacDonald said that NSW’s payroll tax rate was much higher than that of Queensland (4.75%) and Victoria (4.95%) which was a disincentive for new and existing businesses to create and preserve jobs.

NSW Business Chamber has identified nearly $800 million in annual Government savings and productivity gains that would fund the fast-tracking of payroll tax cuts and help maintain the State’s valuable AAA credit rating.

“This budget can’t afford to be business as usual.  There are tough decisions that need to be made for the future sustainability of NSW.

“The Treasurer must take this opportunity to cut millions of dollars in NSW Government waste if we are to retain our valuable AAA credit rating.” MacDonald said.

“The State’s AAA credit rating is not a temporary goal to be discarded when times are tough. Our credit rating is critical for job creation. Maintaining our AAA credit rating encourages business confidence and investment which equals jobs.

“Deliberately dumping our AAA credit rating in a time of economic crisis could trigger a vicious cycle of slower economic growth, lower revenues, higher taxes, declining investment and employment, increasing State debt, and even lower credit ratings.” MacDonald concluded.

NSW Business Chamber outlined these key budget priorities in a submission to the NSW Treasurer.

NSW Business Chamber represents over 22,000 businesses and is affiliated with 119 chambers of commerce throughout NSW and the ACT.

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