CommSec’s State of the States economic report card is a damning indictment of the Weathrill Government’s handling of the South Australia economy and highlights the need for decisive action in the up coming state budget.
“South Australia has sunk to the bottom of the ladder on economic performance and is in desperate need a change of direction from the Weatherill Government in the coming state budget,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“As a priority the Weatherill Government must abandon its plan to hike payroll taxes for businesses with an annual payroll between $600,000 and $1.2 million in this year’s state budget.
“The CommSec report shows South Australia has the weakest retail spending, the lowest number of dwelling starts in the nation and now ranks equal last with Tasmania.
“Those two factors are significant drivers of South Australia’s unemployment crisis and potent reasons for the Weatherill Government to drop its plan to hike payroll taxes.
“People need a job to even think about building a home and there is a direct link between the level of employment and retail spending.
“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs and last thing the Weatherill Government can afford to do is make it even harder for South Australians to find or keep a job.
“Abandoning the Weatherill Government’s plan to raise payroll taxes amounts to a $22 million investment in job creation over two years.
“The fact the Victorian economy is powering ahead only increases the importance of the Weatherill Government getting its budget settings absolutely right.
“The Victorian Government’s budget delivered a $286 million payroll tax cut which will result in some 2800 firms no longer paying the tax once the change is fully implemented.
“The Weatherill Government’s plans to axe the payroll tax concession is already preventing South Australian small businesses from hiring more people.
“The most recent ABS data puts unemployment in South Australia at 7.2 per cent and youth unemployment at 17.5 per cent.” (ABS Labour force - Detailed, March 2016)