State government to provide $491m in tax relief

Staff writers

The Victorian government has announced it will provide a further $491 million in tax relief to help support businesses and save jobs through the coronavirus crisis.

A host of fees, charges and levies will be frozen in a bid to reduce the financial burden on households while businesses participating in the Job Keeper scheme in Victoria will be exempt from payroll tax and WorkCover premiums on payments to staff who have been stood down.

This means the $1,500 fortnightly payment for staff will be free from all state government taxes and charges.

Treasurer Tim Pallas made the announcement today and said it would mean more money in the pockets of businesses, and more incentive to keep workers on throughout the crisis.

“These changes will help businesses, save jobs and reduce the burden on households hit hard by coronavirus,” Mr Pallas said.

“This is money in the pocket of Victorian businesses doing it tough. We know these restrictions have been incredibly difficult – but staying apart has been essential in slowing spread of the virus and saving lives.

“The last thing Victorian businesses and families need right now is higher fees and fines. These changes will make sure we’re supporting Victorians to get through to the other side of this crisis.”

Payments above a part-time employee’s usual salary, due to JobKeeper being a minimum $1500 fortnightly payment, will also be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium.

The government will also freeze all fees and fines that were due to be increased in July, including car registration, traffic infringements, court-imposed penalties and permit fees.

The Fire Services Property Levy paid by all Victorian households will also be frozen at this year’s collection level.

The government has already announced it will defer the planned Landfill Levy increase due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes on top of the $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, including tax refunds, grants for businesses in the hardest hit sectors and opportunities for affected workers to find new jobs.