Taxes should be abolished on the JobKeeper allowance, says the Accommodation Association.
Taxes should be abolished on the JobKeeper allowance, says the Accommodation Association.

Payroll taxes and other related charges must be made consistent and removed across all Australian states and territories to ensure employers retain staff while collecting the JobKeeper allowance, says the Accommodation Association.

The tourism accommodation organisation has called on state and territory governments around Australia to adopt a consistent approach to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 wage assistance program by waiving payroll taxes on behalf of industry businesses to ensure employers can keep staff on their books and bounce back when the virus tapers off.

AA Chief Executive, Dean Long, said states and territories have been inconsistent in how they have dealt with the JobKeeper allowance, with remaining payroll taxes actually working as a disincentive for employers to apply for the program.

“States such as South Australia and Western Australia have demonstrated leadership in waiving the payroll tax on JobKeeper, but there is a lack of consistency across other states response,” Long said.

Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long

“Equally, workers compensation premiums should only be paid on the hours worked, not on the total JobKeeper payment. We are simply seeking a common sense response that recognises that where there is no risk there is no payment.”

HM understands, according to TAA resources, that payroll taxes have also been waived for a minimum six-month period in the Australian Capital Territory until at least the end of September.

According to recent data released by the Accommodation Association, revenues have fallen by up to 85% across the sector, with nearly 70% of hotels either closed entirely or being utilised by government or health services for mandatory quarantine and medi-hotel purposes. The majority of hoteliers surveyed in compiling the data expect current conditions to remain well into the second half of 2020, with signs of a slight lift on the horizon in the event of a lift in travel restrictions.