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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1937 ..


CARNELL (continuing):

This problem has occurred because the industry in the ACT has in recent times arranged its employment practices to rely significantly upon the guidelines provided under the Commissioner' s discretion to gain payroll tax exemption on wages paid to a large number of contractors.

As a result of the industry's representations, Mr Speaker, it is now recognised that the Government's attempt to tighten current exemptions could inadvertently affect some bona fide employers in their own right, who supply the services of their employees through employment agents. This impact would be inconsistent with government policy and is not in line with the intention of the legislation.

Mr Speaker, the Government has agreed with the industry to introduce an amendment to the Act to rectify this unintended consequence and to clarify for employment agents that wages paid by them, to contractors, who are bona-fide employers in their own right, continue to remain exempt.

Mr Speaker, payroll tax is a self-assessing tax and, as such, we must ensure, where at all possible, that clear and certain tests are provided to taxpayers to minimise costs incurred by business in complying with tax laws. For this reason, it is essential that the Bill be given a retrospective commencement date to 6 May 1999. This will ensure the exemptions are in line with government policy, and continue to support the development and growth of the IT industry in the ACT.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.57): Mr Speaker, I present the Liquor (Amendment) Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

I seek leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

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