Statement on Company Tax Uncertainty

“Comments from Social Services Minister Scott Morrison this morning have only added to concerns around the possibility of a two-tiered company tax rate,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Not giving the promised company tax cut to large businesses in order to fund a social program is simply a levy by another name.

“A two-tiered company tax rate would introduce a major distortion in our tax system at a time when all businesses are struggling to stay competitive in a softening economy, and has the potential to seriously dent business confidence when the focus should be on jobs,” Ms Westacott said.

“The government needs to confirm it will not implement the 1.5 per cent levy on large businesses intended to pay for its now abandoned Paid Parental Leave scheme.

“Speculation that only small businesses will receive a company tax cut also needs to be addressed.

“We must lower Australia’s high company tax rate for all businesses to spark investment and jobs. This should be part of properly designed tax policy, not more ad hoc changes.

“The Business Council has always opposed differential company tax rates because of the added complexity and potential to distort investment. This would further weaken our competitive position as the economy adjusts to the largest fall in the terms of trade for 50 years.

“There is hard-won bipartisan support for lowering Australia’s company tax rate, among the highest in the OECD, and a lower rate will be critical for attracting investment and large-scale job creation,” Ms Westacott said.