Page 4178 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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I note, Madam Speaker, that this bill will give young people with a disability and their carers more choice and control in their lives. These are principles which underpin the national disability insurance scheme that the ACT government has signed up to and that we are working hard to implement.

Mr Barr has outlined how the payroll tax scheme will work; so I do not need to go into the detail. But in short we are delivering on what we have committed to—that is, to offer organisations paying payroll tax in the ACT a concession of up to $4,000 for each school leaver with a disability who they employ.

We know that for all school leavers, getting the first foot in the workplace can be a challenge. This is even more so the case for those young people with a disability. People with a disability face many barriers to participating in employment. This can affect self-esteem, the level of engagement with the community and it results in higher rates of poverty.

But we know that people with a disability have a lot to offer the workforce. As a government, we are committed to reducing those barriers to employment. This payroll tax concession is an important step to encourage our biggest businesses to benefit from the talents and skills of school leavers with a disability.

The payroll tax concession, a $740,000 initiative over two years announced in the 2013-14 ACT budget, will also support the important aims of increasing our community’s inclusion of people with a disability and improving employment outcomes. It also sees the ACT government continuing to deliver on our post-school options strategy to assist school leavers with a disability who are experiencing difficulty making this transition from school to the later stages of their lives.

This focus on providing people with disability with access to opportunities is also in line with the national disability strategy 2010-2020, which highlights the need to increase access to employment for people with disability. This initiative reflects the core Labor values of supporting the most vulnerable in our community, supporting the workforce and creating opportunities for everyone in our community. I am pleased. I get a sense that the whole Assembly is supporting this bill. I think that is a very positive way forward.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (10.57), in reply: I thank members for their support of the legislation. The Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2) delivers on another of the government’s election commitments—that is, providing a payroll tax concession of up to $4,000 to businesses that hire a recent school leaver with disability.

There are, as previous speakers have identified, a number of barriers for people with disability to participating in employment. This initiative will assist in providing increased opportunities for young people living with disability to gain sustainable employment. It will also see the government continue to deliver on our post-school

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