5 May 2021

Tim Quilty asks Parliament to cut the Job Tax

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has called for a cut to the Job Tax which would put more money into wage earners’ pockets as well as create more jobs.

Mr Quilty today moved a motion to cut payroll tax, a levy which employers pay when giving people jobs, but which ultimately costs employees.

“The primary victims of the job tax are working Australians,” Mr Quilty told Parliament.

“Payroll tax is a tax on wages and it primarily affects wage earners. The entity that pays a tax initially to the Government is not the same as those who ultimately bear the cost. While employers pay payroll tax, the incidence of the tax is largely borne by employees.”

Mr Quilty argued that when the Government makes it more expensive to hire people, businesses make do with fewer staff and pay lower wages.

“The tax is also passed on in the form of increased prices on goods and services,” Mr Quilty said. “This is bad for everyone but is especially damaging for low-income Victorians.

“It is a basic rule of economics – when you tax something, you get less of it, which is the claimed justification for taxing cigarettes. So when you tax jobs, you get less of them.”

Mr Quilty said a reduction in payroll tax would increase the number of people working, and pointed out the Andrews Government’s support of his argument.

“Reducing payroll tax will – directly – cause more people to be employed,” Mr Quilty said. “The Victorian Treasurer has told us, in response to questions we have asked, that he is unable to measure how many jobs are lost to payroll tax – but it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that payroll taxes cost jobs.

“This Government itself has acknowledged this by making cuts to payroll tax in regional areas, and making temporary cuts in bushfire-affected areas.”

The Liberal Democrats member said his party believes working Australians deserve the income they earn, quoting a report which illustrates the price wage earners pay.

“A new report from the Australians Taxpayers Alliance calculates the amount of tax paid by Australians,” Mr Quilty said.

“An Australian earning a full-time minimum wage loses 56% of their income to the Government with only 44% of their own earnings left for themselves.

“Imagine it this way – a minimum wage worker is required work almost seven months for the Government every year before they’re allowed to earn anything for themselves.

“Is it any wonder that so many Australians are struggling to save and to get ahead?”