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Double whammy for families as Labor chases ESL debt

The State Liberals have obtained further details regarding the difficulties the Weatherill Government’s ESL tax hike is creating for households, businesses and sporting clubs.

Freedom of Information documents obtained through the Department of Treasury and Finance show 102,862 final notices for outstanding payments for the ESL were issued in 2015-16, and that $4,741,261 in payments were outstanding as of 30 June 2016.

In 2013/14 the number of final notices issued for outstanding payments was 95,785.

“The fact is it is getting harder for South Australians to pay this massive tax increase as time passes,” said Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation.

Freedom of Information documents also reveal the Weatherill Government collected more than $375,000 in ESL from the Stadium Management Authority (SMA) for Adelaide Oval in 2015-16, a $65,000 increase from the previous financial year.

“The ESL is not just a tax on the family home, it’s a tax on sporting clubs, it’s also a tax on the price of tickets to the footy and the cost of a pie and drink when you get there,” said Mr Whetstone.

“The SMA, like all businesses in South Australia, are already dealing with some of the highest electricity and water costs in Australia and the savage ESL tax rise is placing even greater pressure on the price of tickets, food and drinks at our premier sporting venue.

“With high electricity and water prices already negatively impacting sporting clubs and council owned sporting assets; the continued increase of the ESL means many clubs would be forced to pass on costs to participants.

“The State Government should be doing everything possible to ensure people are participating in sport and attending sporting events across the state, but all sporting clubs are being hit by the ESL.”

Mr Whetstone called on the State Government to follow the SA Liberals initiative, reinstate the rebate on the ESL, and provide much needed relief for families.

“At a time when the State Government should be doing everything within its power to make attending live sporting events and participating in sport as affordable as possible, it keeps hiking its taxes and driving up the price of a family day out.”