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Major Bank Levy to support thousands of small businesses

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

South Australia’s new $200 million Future Jobs Fund will help small businesses create jobs, and will be underpinned by the Major Bank Levy, the 10th Ministerial Small Business Roundtable was told at today’s post budget briefing.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis told 35 small business operators and associations that the levy represented just 0.3 per cent of the $30 billion in super profits the major banks make each year.

Mr Koutsantonis said the $370 million the levy would raise over the forward estimates will help underpin the Future Jobs Fund, as well as the expanded Job Accelerator Grant scheme and payroll tax cuts – all of which will help thousands of small businesses grow and employ more people.

Background

The State Government has delivered a significant package of support for the small business sector, which employs almost 250,000 people in South Australia and is worth $34 billion each year.

Key small business budget initiatives include:

·       A new permanent payroll tax rate of 2.5 per cent in South Australia for small businesses with payrolls between $600,000 and $1 million. The Budget will also extend payroll tax discounts to businesses with payrolls between $1 million and $1.5 million, benefitting an additional 1,300 businesses in this bracket
In a measure designed to boost employment among young people, businesses that register a new employee for a Job Accelerator Grant (JAG) will receive an extra $5000 if the person employed is an apprentice or trainee. The expanded scheme means businesses with payrolls between $600,000 and $5 million will receive up to $15,000 for each apprentice or trainee above current staffing levels, while small businesses with payrolls up to $600,000 will receive up to $9000.

·         The State Government has maintained the $10 million Small Business Development Fund, comprising Start-up Business and Expansion grants and expanded the Export Partnership Program.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis

We are introducing this levy on the five big banks so that we can support thousands of South Australian small businesses and help them create jobs through the $200 million Future Jobs Fund and other initiatives.

We want the big banks to pay their fair share of tax just like every other business.

The banks are squealing, but let’s be clear, this levy represent just 0.3 per cent of the $30 billion in super profits the banks make each year.

The five big banks know that if they follow through on threats to charge South Australians higher interest rates they’ll lose their customers to smaller banks and credit unions.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Martin Hamilton-Smith

As South Australia’s traditional industries erode, the State Government is stepping forward to invest in our future - supporting industries that are growing today, to create the jobs of tomorrow.

The 2017-18 Budget sees the creation of a $200 million Future Jobs Fund. We are expanding our Jobs Accelerator Grant program to include apprentices. This program has already helped create more than 10,000 jobs and will now offer businesses $15,000 for each new apprentice they employ.

Through the Industry Advocate, all our infrastructure projects are subject to our ‘local jobs, local content’ policy that ensures 90 per cent of the direct jobs are given to South Australians and that local content is sourced from the project to generate additional local jobs from suppliers.

We are backing our steel-makers in Whyalla and supporting component manufacturers in the car industry to develop new products and markets. We are providing more funding for Investment Attraction South Australia, to bring more companies like Boeing to South Australia in a move that benefits all levels of business.

South Australia’s business sector is the backbone of our economy and a key driver of employment and growth. That’s why the South Australian Government is dedicated to providing the right business environment for small businesses to grow and prosper.