Page 4064 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013

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The concession is aimed at large businesses in the territory who are liable for payroll tax. In the ACT a business is required to pay payroll tax once its annual Australia-wide wages exceed $1.75 million. If a business in the ACT is liable for and paying payroll tax they may be eligible for the concession. The concession will apply where employment commences on or after 1 July 2013 and will continue to be available for two years. Employment must commence prior to 1 July 2015.

To claim the concession, businesses must hire an eligible person. An eligible employee must be aged 17 to 24 years and must be employed for at least eight hours per week. The employee must also have a qualifying disability. In this bill the definition of disability used is that of the ACT Disability Services Act 1991. This definition aligns with that used by the commonwealth disability employment services program, which includes the employment support service. This service assists people with a permanent disability who require long-term, regular and ongoing support in the workplace. This is the target group of eligibility for this concession.

The bill provides these criteria to help to ensure that the concession is not open to abuse and that vulnerable members of the community are protected in their employment. Should a business employ a person who meets the determined criteria and for whom taxable wages are paid, a concession will be applied by the ACT Revenue Office to the eligible business at the time of the annual payroll tax reconciliation process. This will take place at the end of both 2013-14 and the 2014-15 financial years.

Those businesses not paying payroll tax will not be able to access the concession. This includes entities that are not liable for payroll tax such as charities and some government agencies. The concession amount will be determined by the length of time the eligible person has been employed. For employment of more than 13 weeks but less than 26, a concession of $2,000 will apply. For employment of more than 26 weeks the concession amount will be $4,000.

This government believes that it is important to support the vulnerable members of our community and to assist those who need it, when they need it and where it is required. Increased employment opportunities for people with a disability in the ACT can help them achieve a better standard of living, more social inclusion, independence and financial control.

This concession will assist in giving young people living with a disability the opportunity and support to achieve their full potential and be valued as equal participants in the ACT community. I commend the Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2) to the Assembly.

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

Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

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

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