The NSW government on Friday released the second stage of its economic package aimed at keeping people in jobs, helping businesses and supporting the most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new package will see the deferral of payroll tax for six months for larger businesses with annual payrolls over $10 million — capped at $4 billion deferred.
Additionally, on top of the announcement last week that businesses with payrolls of less than $10 million will receive a three-month waiver, these medium-sized businesses will now get an additional three-month payroll tax deferral.
The government is also deferring gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This is expected to improve liquidity and help these businesses stay afloat.
The parking space levy is also being deferred for six months, as is rent for commercial tenants with fewer than 20 employees in all government-owned properties.
As part of its package, the NSW government said it has already put into action a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees.
The Working for NSW fund, which is composed of $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services, will also see 1,000 news staff hired at Service NSW.
Helping the most vulnerable
Moreover, the NSW government has earmarked $34 million to prevent homelessness, $30 million to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme, $10 million to support charities and $6 million additional funding for Lifeline’s operations in NSW.
‘‘These are unprecedented times and if we are to emerge in the best shape possible, we need to ensure businesses keep their heads above water and keep employees on the books,” said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
“We will do whatever it takes to help businesses stay afloat so that they can hold onto as many jobs as possible as we get through this crisis. We will also be there to support those most vulnerable to ensure no one is left behind.”
NSW last week announced a $2.3 billion funding package which included $700 million to boost health and $1.6 billion for tax cuts and job creation.
Applauding the latest move by the NSW government, Business NSW said that the new package will be “appreciated” by medium and larger business owners across the state.
“Any assistance for business owners at this time is appreciated because it might just make the difference in saving a job,” said Business NSW CEO Stephen Cartwright.
He noted, however, that Business NSW would like to see some assistance for the hundreds of thousands of businesses who don’t pay payroll tax, including sole traders and mum and dad businesses.
“The Premier, Deputy Premier and the Treasurer have shown their support for NSW businesses to date, and it’s natural that large employing businesses receive some relief, but this pandemic is hitting every single part of the economy, and the vast bulk of businesses in NSW are actually small businesses,” Mr Cartwright said.
He also called on the government to look out for regionally based businesses battered by drought and bushfires, and to urgently implement a vouchers scheme for small-business owners to spend with their accountant or financial adviser to get “that crucial guidance”.