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  • Ellis Gelios

Cost of running business 'becoming onerous' for South Australians, says Chief Exec of South Australian Business Chamber

After the announcement of the South Australian budget last week, the Chief Executive of the South Australian Business Chamber, Andrew Kay, appeared on Flow's Country Viewpoint program to expand on his reaction to the announcement.


Image credit: South Australian Business Chamber official Facebook page

Kay said the fundamental sore point from his view was that business owners will not see any relief when it comes to mounting costs which are crippling their bottom line.


"The clear message over the last 12 to 18 months has been these businesses are seeing electricity bills higher than they've ever seen in their time in business - some of them have increased 20 to 30% year on year and I think most people could have seen that in their own power bills in some cases," said Kay.


"Their insurance premiums are higher than they've ever been and there are similar increases, 30 to 40% in some cases, on insurance premiums, their wage bills have gone up because wages have been increased through the awards over the last few years in an inflationary period.


"There are some who are closing down purely because the cost of running that business is becoming onerous for them."


Kay also acknowledged that payroll tax is adding to the woes of business owners in the state and that reforms should have been considered.


"We were disappointed because the federal government came out with their budget a few weeks back and there was nothing in that for business and we felt that we've got a government here who are looking at a surplus," Kay said.


"In fact, they're looking at a surplus for the next three years and there's an opportunity to give some of that money back to business because the surplus is coming from taxes, it's coming from GST, it's coming from payroll tax, it's coming from gambling tax. 


"We saw an opportunity for some reform around payroll tax in South Australia - we weren't suggesting the government abolishes it even though every business owner would love that to be the case, but the reality is payroll tax is embedded into government's financial models now, it's not going to be pulled out but there are ways to address some of the pain."


Kay also emphasised that regional businesses are disadvantaged in South Australia due to the state's payroll tax.


"For regional businesses, we know that in other states, Victoria for example, they offer a discount for regional centres on their payroll tax - if you're in Victoria and you're classified regional, you pay about a quarter of the payroll tax that a metro business does," Kay said.


"So, we suggested to the government they look at a 50% discount for regional businesses to encourage business to set up here in South Australia rather than to take the discount and set up over the border."



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