Desperate O’Byrne continues to talk down Tasmania

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Finance

David O’Byrne cannot be trusted to read a simple Australian Bureau of Statistics report.

Mr O’Byrne refuses to listen to experts, and is deliberately ignoring that we are getting on with delivering an economic and social support package valued at over $1 billion, the largest in the country as a proportion of our economy.

The facts are:

  • The Government has already waived payroll tax, for the entire 2019-20 financial year, for tourism, hospitality and fisheries businesses, and for businesses with wages less than $5 million.
  • We are continuing to waive payroll tax on JobKeeper, ensuring that these businesses and workers receive the full benefits of the scheme, one of the few jurisdictions in Australia to do so.
  • We are also providing a payroll tax rebate for young people until the end of December, along with payroll tax rebates for apprentices and trainees as well.
  • This support is in addition to $80 million in small business emergency and hardship grants, electricity and water bill waivers, and land tax waivers for 2020-21 for impacted business.

Mr O’Byrne has proven time and again that he cannot read simple statistics, and uses his dodgy figures to repeatedly talk down Tasmania, our recovery and our economy.

He claims yesterday’s jobs data shows that job losses are continuing, when in fact the opposite is true. Jobs have continued to grow steadily over the past two months, and over the fortnight to 22 August, jobs grew 1.3 per cent, the fastest growth in the nation.

Mr O’Byrne also yesterday claimed that the retail industry has lost 300 jobs in the month when in fact the data clearly shows that retail jobs grew 1.1 per cent over the month.

The last time Mr O’Byrne had some responsibility he drove this state into recession. Now he uses every opportunity to talk down our economy, our businesses and jobs at a time when we should be supporting Tasmanians to once again rebuild Tasmania to be the economic powerhouse it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government will continue to deliver our nation-leading economic and social support, and we will continue to back bold strategies to stimulate demand, seek new directions for Tasmania and grow jobs as we recover from the pandemic.

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