Urgent need for business rent relief in lockdown

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to introduce immediate rent relief measures to support small business during Victoria’s lockdown 5.

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are unable to open their doors during this latest Labor lockdown, but they are still required to pay rent.

To prevent a small business from trading is harsh. To not support rent relief while locking that business down is cruel.

Last year the State Government – with Liberal Nationals support – provided land tax relief for landlords on condition that small business tenants received rent relief as well.

This helped share the burden of lockdown more fairly between the State Government, property owners and small business tenants.

The Andrews Labor Government needs to act urgently to assist those small operators subject to lockdown restrictions by providing a package of land tax and rent relief.

Only a tiny fraction of Victoria’s businesses are eligible for the Andrews Labor Government’s measly Business Costs Assistance program.

While Labor’s most recent budget rammed through a large increase in land tax, now is the time for Labor to support small business through this latest devastating lockdown.

Too many businesses risk going under if Labor does not act.

That will only cost jobs, livelihoods and make the task of rebuilding our state that much harder.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Michael O’Brien:

“Under Daniel Andrews’ latest lockdown, tens-of-thousands of small businesses across the state are paying full price for rent, just to put a padlock on their front door.

“For many small businesses, rent can be the single largest expense yet week after week, Labor has left these businesses fending for themselves.

“The Liberal Nationals are calling for the immediate reintroduction of rental supports for small businesses, so local cafes, florists, barbers and gyms are there for our community on the other side.”

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