FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the Government’s move to abandon two tax measures that would have imposed a severe financial toll on Far Northern professionals.
Announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey earlier this week, the Government will not proceed with seven measures in all, including Labor’s $2000 cap on self-education expenses and the $1.7 billion Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) attack on the car industry.
“When these two moves were announced it caused widespread confusion and dissatisfaction in the community,” Mr Entsch said. “People asked me, why on earth would Labor want to target the hardworking health and education sectors?”
Mr Entsch said that while Labor claimed the system was a rort for high-earners, in reality, of the 174,000 people affected by the cap on self-education, four out of five earned less than $80,000 a year.
“I had doctors contact my office, asking how they could afford to keep up with rigorous professional development requirements without being able to claim back some of the associated costs.
Warren discusses FBT changes with Ireland’s Joint MD Richard Ireland
“Then, the principals of some of our largest local car dealerships told me about the immediate impact that the FBT announcement had had on fleet purchasing overnight, contracts just stopped due to the uncertainty in the industry.
“A company vehicle makes up a significant part of a salary package for nurses, teachers, police, public servants and charity workers most of whom earn well under $100,000 a year.
“These cuts on FBT and the self-education cap were a huge imposition on those at the frontline in our community so it’s great news that they won’t go ahead.”
Cairns motor dealer, Richard Ireland, said he was absolutely delighted with the scrapping of the FBT changes that were “thrust on the motor industry and became an overnight disaster for both the manufacturing and retail sectors of that industry”.
He said the threat of the tax change had caused a widespread drop in confidence and demand in the retail and fleet sectors, which is still not back to the sales levels that had been experienced prior to the Rudd announcement.
“With this certainty coming back to the industry, I believe the market will now be able to recover. I thank the Abbott Government for standing firm on its pre-election promise.”
Mr Entsch also welcomed the Coalition’s confirmation that it will scrap the Carbon Tax, which has in some cases had a marked impact on local residents, businesses and organisations.
“I’ve had a people contact me from all around Leichhardt to complain about the increased cost of electricity, refrigerant gas, council waste processing, aviation and freight to regional areas,” Mr Entsch said.
“We said we’d make the scrapping of Labor’s carbon tax a first order of business for the new Parliament and that’s already started. This will leave families, on average, $550 better off next financial year and will be a big help to anyone feeling the cost-of-living pinch.”