Friday, 04 May 2018 12:11

MTA WA Group CEO Mr.Stephen Moir MTA WA Group CEO Mr.Stephen Moir

The Motor Trade Association of WA has taken aim at the CCI WA over the fight to retain payroll tax exemptions for trainees and apprentices which the McGowan Government has announced they will scrap.

MTA WA CEO Stephen Moir said that CCI WA’s push to retain exemptions for trainees earning in excess of $100,000 was distorting the debate and was clearly aimed at assisting the big end of town. [Update: The Treasurer has confirmed that the position taken by the MTA WA is correct and that apprentices will continue to carry an exemption under payroll tax.]

Mr Moir also stated that “The traditional view was that trainees were generally people seeking employment, who undertook a period of training in order to gain the skills to allow them to take on a job. It should not be used for existing employees who undertake retraining.” Further, “there were few industry sectors that were about to undertake rapid technological change like the automotive sector. Our approach will be to offer additional training for employees and that this will be treated as part of the cost of doing business.”

The MTA WA did hold concerns in relation to the second phase of the announcement that would have seen exemptions removed for all trainees and apprentices however Mr Moir noted that the MTA WA had sought clarification over the Government’s intentions and was now satisfied that payroll tax exemptions for apprentices would be retained and that this was a very positive outcome for businesses and apprentices across the state.

Mr Moir reiterated that “We have to do everything we can to attract more people into the trades and removing the exemption would have seen a reduction in the numbers of West Australians taking up apprenticeships. The Government’s assurance that there will be no change to the payroll tax arrangements for employers employing apprentices ensures that business can employ apprentices with the confidence that there are strong incentives to do so.”

Mr Moir highlighted the fact that it was essential that Government and industry worked closely to improve employment opportunities in this State and he thanked the Premier and Treasurer for their preparedness to listen to the concerns of business.

“More broadly there is a need to review both stamp duty and payroll tax levels, but this can’t be done until the budget situation has improved,” said Mr Moir.

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