Business leaders have been left deeply divided over a novel idea to scrap payroll tax in favour of a technology tax in a bid to boost job creation.
While nobody in the business community holds love for payroll tax and its effective penalising of companies for growing and creating new employment opportunities, My Business readers were passionate in opposing or applauding the idea of replacing it with a tax on technologies that eliminate jobs.
“At last, a technology tax is the best suggestion I have heard in years. It makes perfect economic and social sense,” said one.
“Some really interesting ideas in here,” said another.
A third reader said the idea was a “very clever” example of how business owners can constructively debate and brainstorm solutions to common problems, when they are given a voice to do so.
“Great article and an even better idea. As a small business owner, I have always struggled with the idea that if you want to create more jobs and work, you will be slugged an extra tax. It [is] ludicrous! This idea of a technology tax is not only very clever, it is incredibly productive and feels far more progressive.
“The power of small business thinking! Well done to whoever came up with this idea. Imagine what could happen in this country if the small business community was consulted on a regular basis by the government for an honest productive view.
“Imagine the power of the first government who actually recognises the value of small business as a means of supporting this country above and beyond that of so called big corporates who seem to pay less tax and have more incentives?”
Others vehemently rejected the idea.
“Taxed for using a bot instead of real people in a call centre? Taxed for using a robot instead of people on a production line? Taxed for using a digger instead of men with shovels? Could the Luddites please explain where the line is drawn,” one reader commented.
“The idea of a technology tax is one of the most ridiculous ideas. How does this become a new[s] story,” complained another.
As previously reported by My Business, COSBOA chief Peter Strong criticised the idea, claiming there would be no net benefit to employment as any jobs saved by its introduction would be lost on the technology side.
Meanwhile, Professor Robert Deutsch of The Tax Institute said that while it has merits in theory, the practical reality of implementing such a tax render it largely unworkable.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.