Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas today challenged Treasurer Koutsantonis to explain how introducing a new business tax such as the car park tax will help resolve South Australia’s dangerous jobs crisis.
SA’s unemployment rate yesterday jumped to 6.8 per cent – the highest unemployment rate on the mainland.
“Given South Australian businesses already suffer under the highest state taxes in the nation, it is incomprehensible Mr Koutsantonis can believe introducing new taxes will encourage them to employ more South Australians,” said Mr Lucas.
“This is especially so when KPMG have already reported this toxic tax will actually reduce economic activity in South Australia by $12 million per year.
“At a time when we still have Holden job losses on the horizon, we need to see policies that will encourage job growth rather than new taxes which will discourage businesses from providing new jobs.
“It should be noted the Weatherill Government justified sacrificing South Australia’s AAA credit rating by saying it was happily putting jobs growth first.
“We may very well be faced with a choice of trying to retain the AAA credit rating or abandoning some of our key infrastructure projects which are about jobs for the future. I will choose jobs in that equation every time.”
(Jay Weatherill, The Australian, 15/11/2011)
“Sadly for South Australians, we seem to have lost out on both fronts – we lost the AAA credit rating and we have the highest unemployment rate on mainland Australia,” said Mr Lucas.
“The Labor Government in 2010 promised 100,000 new jobs by February 2016 and the sorry record is that after more than four years we have actually lost 800 jobs!
“Mr Koutsantonis’s response yesterday in trying to ‘spin’ South Australia’s dangerous jobless numbers was laughable.” He said:
“… the underlying metrics of the economy are very, very good.”
“Next week’s State Budget will be judged on how many jobs it will create and whether the promise by Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis of 100,000 new jobs will be kept.”