Candidates prepare for their speeches at last week's candidates forum.
Candidates prepare for their speeches at last week's candidates forum. Tim Jarrett

Payroll tax plan friendless

A SUGGESTION regions should pay little or no payroll tax has not received a lot of love from candidates standing in the NSW election.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Steve Cansdell is advocating his party's policy which would have regional areas in need pay little or no payroll tax.

"There shouldn't just be payroll tax relief for any area outside Sydney, it needs to be targeted," Mr Cansdale said.

"It has to be a zonal system which focuses on areas which are in need of jobs and industry.

Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said there were no plans to change the system beyond what had already been committed.

"We have increased the payroll tax threshold to $850,000 and that will go up by $50,000 increments until it reaches one million dollars," Mr Gulaptis said

"Although I would like to see it removed in regional areas, we need to have something to replace it with so that we can continue to provide essential services to the Clarence Valley.

"We can't just eliminate a tax without replacing it with something because it pays for essential front-line services."

 

Greens candidate for Clarence Greg Clancy was sceptical of payroll tax relief, saying it was a "red herring" that would not affect most businesses in the Clarence.

"The majority of the businesses in the Clarence are small businesses and they don't pay payroll tax," Mr Clancy said.

"It would only be an issue for big industries coming to the area which in itself is unlikely to happen and maybe not what we want.

"With the emphasis that the river has in agriculture and fishing I would be wary of big polluting industries being encouraged to come to the Clarence Valley."

Encouraging bigger business was exactly what Mr Cansdell wanted to do by pushing regional tax reform, he said, acknowledging it would be hard to get businesses to leave areas with superior transport and infrastructure.

"For businesses to move out of the major centres they need major incentives," he said.

"They won't move for little rate reductions here and there, but there is a workforce here that they could take advantage of."

Even less enthusiastic was Labor candidate for Clarence, Trent Gilbert, who said if elected, Labor would not look at payroll tax until it had reduced government debt.

"Labor's policy is to keep the level at $850 000 and that's primarily because there is a problem with net debt and we need to ensure that the $327 million stays as state revenue," he said.

"I think there is some merit in looking at taxation in regions but it has to be considered within the broader tax system.

"You need to look at what you would be giving away compared to what benefits you would be seeking."

Who will you vote for in the seat of Clarence at the 2019 NSW Election?

This poll ended on 22 March 2019.

Current Results

STEVE CANSDELL - Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

31%

GREG CLANCY - Greens

4%

TRENT GILBERT - Labor

21%

CHRIS GULAPTIS - Nationals

29%

THOM KOTIS - Sustainable Australia

0%

DEBRAH NOVAK - Independent

12%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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