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Coronavirus pandemic forces Queensland to find $4 billion to save small and medium businesses

Posted

March 24, 2020 06:35:32

The Queensland Government will extend tax breaks for small to medium-sized businesses in a move to prevent significant job losses in the coming weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points:

  • Urgent action is needed to keep people employed, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says
  • The plan is to cost about $2.5b, with a further $1.5b initiative to be announced later this week
  • Treasurer Jackie Trad has not yet elaborated on how the new measures will be funded

A new $4 billion package prepared in response to the crisis will overhaul the State Government’s original plan to simply defer payroll tax requirements.

Instead, two months’ worth of payroll tax will be immediately refunded to businesses and the next three months’ worth of payroll tax will be waived.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the urgent action was needed to keep people employed.

“Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have ever experienced, but I am determined my Government will support Queenslanders through it,” she said.

It is expected to deliver an average Queensland business an initial cash injection of about $9,000, with a further $13,600 to be waived over the next three months.

The original six-month payroll tax deferral plan announced earlier this month will instead be in effect from July to December.

It comes days after the Federal Government announced a $66 billion plan to help keep small businesses afloat.

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Treasurer Jackie Trad said the plan would cost about $2.5 billion, with a further $1.5 billion initiative to be announced later this week.

“The Premier and I have been contacted by business owners every day,” Ms Trad said.

“We’ve taken on board what they’ve said.”

Ms Trad has not yet elaborated on how the new measures will be funded.

Last week, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington called on the State Government to waive payroll tax completely.

“Payroll tax needs to be cut and cut now for the next six months,” Ms Frecklington said.

“An unprecedented emergency requires urgent and a smart response.

“In the spirit of bipartisanship, the LNP is prepared to work with the Labor Government to immediately implement these measures.”

Topics:

epidemics-and-pandemics,

covid-19,

federal—state-issues,

health-policy,

travel-health-and-safety,

federal—state-issues,

government-and-politics,

diseases-and-disorders,

infectious-diseases-other,

respiratory-diseases,

state-parliament,

parliament,

states-and-territories,

economic-trends,

budget,

public-sector,

business-economics-and-finance,

work,

community-and-society,

tax,

activism-and-lobbying,

small-business,

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