The Marshall Liberal Government has condemned Bill Shorten’s “cruel’’ policy to repeal company tax cuts for businesses with turnovers between $10m and $50m, saying it would cost jobs, threaten wages and slow economic growth.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Federal Opposition leader’s plan – revealed yesterday – had further exposed Labor as a party that seeks to punish hardworking and successful South Australian businesses.
“Mr Shorten’s cruel policy would be a devastating blow to hundreds of hardworking South Australian small to medium businesses whose only crime, it appears, is to try and get ahead and employ people,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“Labor’s plan would hit SA employers - many of them family businesses - with a significant tax hike at a time when the Marshall Government is doing everything we can to cut taxes to grow the economy and create jobs.
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer. While the State and Federal Liberals are busy cutting taxes, such as small business payroll tax and the Emergency Services Levy, Labor wants higher taxes – it’s in their DNA.
“People rightfully can be cynical when SA Labor say they support our payroll tax cuts, if they’re anything like Bill Shorten they may well reverse them if given the chance.”
Mr Shorten’s policy to repeal the Coalition’s company tax cuts would result in a $20 billion tax hike for around 20,000 small-to-medium businesses with a million employees across the country.
Media reports that Labor was still to decide whether it would limit tax cuts to businesses with turnovers capped at $2m or $10m was even more concerning, the Treasurer said.
In South Australia, there are more than 680 companies with turnovers between $10m and $50m.
“Small to medium businesses underpin our State’s economy and this Government is committed to helping ease their cost base so they can grow, thrive and ultimately employ more South Australians,” said Treasurer Lucas.