Page 1840 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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Shared endeavours: inquiry into employee share ownership in Australian enterprises, the Nelson report, released by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations on 9 October 2000, suggests that employee share ownership in the ACT was valued at between $107 million and $143 million in 2000. This is estimated to have increased by between $2 million and $3 million per year since then.

The commonwealth government actively promotes employee share schemes and, as a result of the Nelson report, has formed an employee share ownership development unit in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, with a stated target to increase the proportion of employees Australia-wide with shares in their company to 11 per cent by 2009.

With an expected increase in the use of these forms of remuneration, the ACT must, like New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, legislate to bring the value of the grant of shares and options into the payroll tax net. We must act now to prevent further erosion of the payroll tax base. There is likely to be a minimal impact on the ACT business community. The major impact is expected to be on national employers who are subject to payroll tax across a number of jurisdictions.

This bill imposes payroll tax on employer contributions to employee share schemes, including the grant of share options, and any similar contributions to a director or a member of the governing body of a company, to a person to be appointed as such, and to a former director or member. The payroll tax amendments use the New South Wales legislation as a model and include changes necessary to overcome administrative and equity problems as introduced by the New South Wales variation to statute after consultation with the industry. I commend the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2005 (No 2)

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.49): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

As part of a range of initiatives announced in the 2005-06 budget, and to simplify the calculation and collection of gaming machine tax revenue, this bill proposes that taxation rates on gross gaming machine revenue be reduced to eliminate the GST credit scheme that currently applies to clubs in the ACT. This means that, from 2005-06 and beyond, GST payments will no longer be deducted from gaming machine tax paid by clubs.

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