Queensland’s budget falls short of the reform task needed to lock in the state’s post COVID recovery and ensure Queenslanders have access to good, secure and well-paid jobs into the future, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“While other states are pulling out all stops to make themselves more competitive places to do business and create jobs, tax hikes in Queensland risk seeing it fall behind the rest of the nation.
“While today’s NSW budget outlines a plan to drive long term productivity and wages growth, Queensland’s puts a handbrake on both. One set of policies announced today will drive new investment, unlock opportunities, boost productivity and create new jobs, the other won’t.
“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs. It doesn’t make sense to target employers with a payroll tax hike which will hamstring their ability to create jobs and drive the recovery.
“While we welcome much needed mental health support, an approach that pits some Queenslanders against others by taxing jobs doesn’t make sense.
“Governments have to grapple with the challenges of running and sustaining funding for mental health services effectively and efficiently, but that won’t be achieved through a band aid solution that punishes some of the businesses already leading the nation in creating mentally healthy and inclusive workplaces.
“The best way to pay down debt and fund critical services is through measures that put money back in people’s pockets, drive economic activity and attract job-creating investment.
“With global headwinds gathering, increasing royalties on key exports risks undermining an industry that helped get Australia through the pandemic and which will need to invest more not less as we decarbonise the economy.
“Businesses want to work with the government to put in place the policies that let Queenslanders get ahead, position the state for the future and help Australia win the post-pandemic race for investment.”