Increasing the payroll tax threshold to $650,000 and exempting displaced apprentice wages from payroll tax will reduce costs and promote growth within Victoria’s hospitality industry, Restaurant & Catering Australia’s (R&CA) CEO, John Hart said.
Announced as part of the state’s 2016-17 Budget, the tax-free payroll threshold will increase to $575,000 from1 July 2016, and increase incrementally until it reaches $650,000 in 2019-20.
The changes will be welcomed by the state’s small hospitality operators, said Hart.
“The restaurant and catering sector is the largest employer in the tourism industry, employing 138,300 Victorians in 18,600 businesses. Ninety-four percent of these businesses are small businesses. The sector has one of the highest rates of expected employment growth nationally, at 14.9 percent or 84,300 jobs by 2020.
“As a labour-intensive industry small hospitality businesses feel the pinch of payroll tax more than any other sector. Today’s announcement shows a willingness to tackle business costs and make it easier to employ more people,” he said.
The Budget also provides $67 million in funding for tourism marketing and regional and business events. Visit Victoria, the state’s tourism marketing organisation, will receive $38 million over two years to attract both local and international visitors.
“Ensuring Visit Victoria is adequately funded is essential to boost industry confidence, drive visitation and create jobs in regional and metropolitan Victoria,” Hart said.
“For every dollar spent in the tourism and hospitality industry, a further 90 cents is generated elsewhere in the economy. It makes good economic sense to support this sector through tourism and events funding.”