Victoria’s budget falls short when it comes to building a job fuelled recovery with a growing economy, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
"This sets a very dangerous precedent of fiscal repair which ultimately harms growth.
“While we welcome mental health reform which is much needed to deal with systemic issues and the devastating impact of a long and disproportionate lockdown, an approach that pits some Victorians against others by taxing jobs makes everyone a loser.
“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.
“These are the same employers who kept workers on their books during more than 100 days of lockdown, paid them when they couldn’t work because of government decisions and kept services running.
“The nation through JobKeeper and many businesses footed the bill during Victoria’s record length lockdown. Now they look set to pay again through investment killing taxes and slower economic growth.
“A high taxing budget simply makes it harder for Victorians to get ahead and for businesses to take the lead on new job creation.
“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.
“This approach stands in stark contrast to the New South Wales government’s pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. All Victorians should ask themselves, if NSW can go for growth, why can’t Victoria?
“A growing economy is what pays the social dividend needed to invest in the services Australians need and position Australia for the future.
“Businesses want to work with the government to put in place the policies that let Victorians get ahead, position the state for the future and help Australia win the post-pandemic race for investment.”