Labor's Gee-up on rebate: opposition's Veitch takes up Electrolux fight

MUM: Andrew Gee.

MUM: Andrew Gee.

THE opposition spokesperson for trade and investment Mick Veitch has gone into bat for redundant Electrolux workers on the floor of the NSW Parliament. 

He is fighting to amend the payroll tax rebate to include the redundant workers. 

In March member for Orange Andrew Gee described an amendment to the legislation, which would give employers $6000 who put on redundant Electrolux workers, as “easy”, yet he did not do it. 

Mr Veitch did instead. 

At the time, the state government had just announced an increase to payroll tax rebates from $5000 to $6000 for employers that take on workers made redundant from firms that let go of at least 50 staff in regional areas and 100 in city areas.

However it would only apply to workers made redundant after January 1, 2014 and before July 1, 2015, meaning Electrolux workers made redundant when the plant winds down from the end of 2015 would miss out.

Mr Gee said in March, the legislation stated that the date could be extended through supporting regulations, which had not been drafted yet. 

“So it’s just the stroke of a pen.”

Previously Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner’s office and Mr Gee said the government would consider extending the deadline depending on the initial take-up of the scheme. 

Two weeks ago Mr Gee said he had broached the issue with the Minster’s office and it had been the subject of “vigorous” and “frank discussions”.

In the NSW Parliament on Wednesday the government was forced to consider the amendment to the bill to change the date after it was raised by Mr Veitch. 

“It’s a very simple amendment, this is above politics,” he said.

“We were concerned that the cut-off date excluded the Electrolux workers and we wanted to make sure it didn’t”.

The government adjourned the debate to consider the amendment and at the time of print it had not come back before the Parliament. 

Mr Gee said the amendment proposed by Mr Veitch had been received and was being considered.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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