Feds should lead the charge on payroll tax reform: ACCI

Original article by Ronald Mizen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 6-Jul-21

Payroll tax is consistently one of the most pressing issues for business, according to a survey by the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and is viewed as an impediment to employment and economic growth. The ACCI has called the federal government to lead the way in its abolition by making up some of the revenue that would be lost by the states and territories if it was scrapped, with the states having levied almost $27 billion in payroll taxes in 2018-19. One possible option to replace money lost by scrapping payroll tax would be for the federal government to increase the GST and diverting the extra money raised back to the states.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Virus exit plan leaves us behind: business

Original article by Hannah Wootton, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 5-Jul-21

Business leaders have generally welcomed the federal government’s four-step plan to reopen Australia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they have called for greater clarity regarding the timeframe for reopening the economy, as well as the vaccination targets that will be required for each step of the plan. The four-point plan aims to phase out snap lockdowns and state border closures in early 2022, while the nation’s international borders will re-open later in that year. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the success of the exit strategy will depend on co-operation from the state and territory governments.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Lower corporate taxes vital to growth

Original article by Tom Dusevic
The Australian – Page: 2 : 30-Jun-21

The Business Council of Australia has released a discussion paper which calls for an overhaul of the nation’s tax system. The BCA contends that tax revenue is too heavily skewed toward the largest companies and the three per cent of individuals who pay the highest personal income tax, and the tax system must evolve in line with a changing economy. BCA CEO Jennifer Westacott says the 30 per cent company tax rate in particular needs to be reviewed, given that the OECD and the Group of Seven have proposed a global minimum corporate tax rate of just 15 per cent.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, GROUP OF SEVEN (G-7)

Energy giants hit with $1bn clean-up tax

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 30-Jun-21

APPEA CEO Andrew McConville warns that the federal government’s proposed levy on the nation’s offshore oil and gas industry will be a major disincentive for investment in the sector. The levy of $0.48 per barrel on offshore production would be used to help meet the cost of decommissioning the Northern Endeavour floating platform and associated oil fields in the Timor Sea. The levy would take effect on 1 July and is expected to cost about $367m a year, and potentially up to $1bn in total. A key criticism of the levy is the fact that it would apply to energy producers that had no exposure to the Northern Endeavour project.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Vaccine passports risk a two-class country

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 21-May-21

Business leaders have questioned the merits of the federal government’s proposed ‘vaccine passport’ system for domestic travellers. It would allow fully vaccinated people to travel interstate and return without being subject to COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurant & Catering CEO Wes Lambert says it would be "very cumbersome" and create more red tape; he adds that it might also create two classes of Australians, based on their vaccination status. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and New South Wales counterpart Gladys Berejiklian both oppose the scheme. Meanwhile, five new COVID-19 cases have been reported in hotel quarantine nationwide in the last 24 hours.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

Levy sparks alarm in energy industry

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 : 13-May-21

Industry body APPEA has expressed concern about the federal government’s proposed levy on the nation’s offshore oil and gas industry. The Budget measure will help fund the cost of decommissioning the Northern Endeavour floating platform and the associated Laminaria and Corallina oil fields in the Timor Sea. APPEA Andrew McConville says other options should be considered, warning that the levy is a "terrible precedent" that could adversely affect the domestic economy and jobs in the oil and gas sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Business calls to fast-track tax cuts

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 26-Apr-21

The third stage of the federal government’s income tax cuts package is slated to take effect from 1 July 2024. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the government should consider bringing forward the tax cuts in order to boost the economy and create jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie recently called for the third-stage tax cuts to be dropped, arguing that they will benefit people on high incomes the most.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

Parental leave a $5bn earner

Original article by Joe Kelly, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 26-Apr-21

The Business Council of Australia has called for paid parental leave to be increased to 26 weeks for couples who agree to more equally share the amount of time they take off work. The BCA has also proposed increasing the childcare subsidy for lower-income households from 85 to 95 per cent; it notes that modelling by KPMG suggests that this would boost the economy by about $5bn a year. The BCA contends that the high cost of childcare is deterring many women from returning to the workforce. Some Liberal MPs have urged the federal government to include childcare reforms in the Budget on 11 May.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

‘Ideology gone mad’: Silk slams super veto laws

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-21

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk has criticised key elements of the federal government’s proposed superannuation reforms. He is particularly concerned about provisions of the ‘Your Future, Your Super’ bill which allow the government to block an investment by a super fund, even if it is in members’ best financial interests. Silk says that amongst other things, this raises genuine concerns about sovereign risk. David Knox of consultancy firm Mercer in turn warns that subjecting super funds to performance tests will result in lower returns over the longer term, as trustees will be reluctant to invest in some asset classes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, MERCER INVESTMENTS PTY LTD

Printing body blasts Ovato over restructure, redundancies

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 12-Jan-21

Listed printing and marketing services firm Ovato has attracted further scrutiny over its restructuring plan. Taxpayers will bear most of the cost of 330 redundancies at Ovato, via the federal government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme; this follows the company’s decision to transfer these workers to corporate entitles that have insufficient funds to pay creditors. Members of the print industry have described Ovato’s restructuring plan as an ‘asset strip’, while Print & Visual Communication Association president Walter Kuhn says the government should have stepped in and insisted that Ovato must pay all redundancy costs.

CORPORATES
OVATO LIMITED – ASX OVT, PRINT AND VISUL COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION