Open the bush to business

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party has its focus firmly on the next State election, announcing it wants a payroll tax exemption for rural areas in the upcoming state budget.

The SFFP want payroll tax to be cut to zero for all rural areas outside Newcastle, Sydney, and Wollongong. 

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Brown said his party’s payroll tax exemption policy makes sense. 

Policy initiative: The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party’s Robert Brown and Robert Borsak have demanded a Payroll Tax Exemption for the Bush. Photo: Steven Siewert.

“When the National Party and Liberal Party Government came into power in 2011, they said that New South Wales is open for business,” Mr Brown said.

“Unfortunately for the bush, what they really meant is ‘Sydney is open for business’.”

“All the benefits have gone to the city at the expense of rural areas. 

“Cutting payroll tax will encourage businesses to set up shop in rural areas, and give those already in the bush the boost they deserve. 

“We estimate that this will cost $120 million per year, and is a drop in the ocean compared to the $4.1 billion windfall that New South Wales just received for handing-over the Snowy Hydro scheme to the Federal Government.” 

Mr Brown called on the National Party to truly stand up for the bush.

“Anything less than a payroll tax cut for all rural areas in this year’s budget will be another failure by the National Party to stand up for regional New South Wales,” he said. 

“Cutting payroll tax for the bush will encourage investment outside of the major coastal cities, boost employment, and ensure that our state is a step closer to being truly decentralised. 

“New South Wales is not just Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.”

But, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said it’s easy for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party to make empty promises about abolishing payroll tax when they have never governed or managed a budget, and never will.

“The Nationals are working to lower taxes for regional businesses in the short and long term without risking cuts to funding services in the bush. We’re committed to exploring opportunities to reduce taxation, without jeopardising funding for vital infrastructure and services,” he said.

“The Shooters un-costed policy is to blow all the Snowy Hydro money on tax exemptions meaning businesses return to the same payroll tax levels in a matter of years, and miss out on infrastructure funding in regional NSW in the process.

“To date, the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has increased the Payroll Tax threshold from $689,000 to $750,000, increased the Jobs Action Plan rebate to $6,000 and created the Employment incentive Scheme of $2,000.”

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