Labor sells small business short as restrictions hit hard

The latest offering of support from the Andrews Labor Government falls woefully short of what Victorian small businesses need to get them through the second round of lockdowns.

A $5,000 grant won’t go far enough to ensure owners can survive six weeks of reimposed Stage 3 restrictions.

And many small businesses won’t qualify at all – considering they need to have employees, be registered for WorkCover and already be on JobKeeper.

The Andrews Labor Government has also deferred payroll tax payments for another six months, rather than what the Liberal Nationals have called for, which is to exempt the first $10 million of payroll entirely.

ABS data released today shows payroll jobs in Victoria decreased by 6.6 per cent since mid-March, the most significant fall of any state or territory in Australia.

This includes a 1.3 per cent fall in the last week of June, prior to the reintroduction of tougher Stay at Home COVID-19 restrictions over a majority of Victoria’s population. By contrast, over the same period, payroll jobs in NSW only declined by 0.3 per cent.

Last week Treasurer Tim Pallas said he thinks the economy might take three full years to recover. Victorian small businesses need a government committed to helping them get back on their feet as soon as possible rather than waving a giant white flag.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“While the Andrews Labor Government braces Victorians for three years of economic hell, it’s offering to small businesses just isn’t enough to ensure more jobs and livelihoods are not lost.

“Why is the Andrews Labor Government not fully supporting businesses?  After all it was Daniel Andrews’ hotel quarantine bungle which led to a second wave and lockdown.

“Victoria deserves a government that’s genuinely committed to supporting small business and getting the economy going again as soon as it is safe.”

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