Pollie speak on $6000 incentive: no guarantees for Electrolux workers

REDUNDANT VISIT: Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner promoted payroll tax incentives for employers who take on redundant workers but failed to mention Electrolux staff would not make the cut.
Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0429sgelec1

REDUNDANT VISIT: Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner promoted payroll tax incentives for employers who take on redundant workers but failed to mention Electrolux staff would not make the cut. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0429sgelec1

THERE is no guarantee employers who take on redundant Electrolux workers will receive the state government’s $6000 payroll tax incentive despite Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner plugging it during his visit to the factory. 

In March former premier Barry O’Farrell announced an increase to payroll tax rebates from $5000 to $6000 for employers who take on workers made redundant from firms that let at least 50 staff in regional areas and 100 in city areas go.

Mr Stoner used the payroll tax incentive, during his visit on Tuesday, as an example of how the government was helping redundant employees find work.

However Electrolux workers would miss the July 2015 deadline by up to 18-months when the wind-down is complete. 

Member for Orange Andrew Gee said, in March, he would lobby his government to extend the deadline but, to date, he received no guarantee the government would do so. 

“ When the payroll tax rebates were announced, I was very disappointed to learn that they were to cease at June 30 2015, when the Electrolux wind-down did not commence until September 2015,” he said in a statement.

“When the announcement was made I don’t think enough consideration was given to what is going to happen here on the ground at Orange, and that remains my view.”

Mr Gee said he raised the issue publicly, with senior ministers and in the party room. 

“Having made our feelings on the issue known, there now is a dialogue about how payroll tax rebates can continue to play a role in a central west jobs plan after June 30, 2015 and that is at least a positive,” he said. 

Mr Stoner was asked if the government had any plans to extend the deadline to include Electrolux employees and a spokesperson for the minister said it could be extended depending on its success. 

In March, Mr Gee said it was easy to change the date to include employers who took on Electrolux employees and it was as simple as a “stroke of a pen”.

Yesterday he said he believed the deadline should be extended immediately but understood Mt Stoner wanted to look at the initial figures, figures Mr Gee said he would also examine closely. 

“I’ll also be looking at those numbers with an eye to pushing for the rebate to actually be increased in time for the Electrolux wind down,” he said. 

“I’m very confident that payroll tax rebates of some type will be playing a role in Orange as part of a central west jobs plan, but there is a need for businesses to get certainty on this, so leaving until June next year to make a decision is just not an option, and I’ve made that very clear. The sooner it gets sorted the better.”

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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