South Australia's Conservatives MLCs, Dennis Hood and Rob Brokenshire, have moved swiftly for fiscal responsibility after their victory over the government on the state-based bank tax.
With the support of the Liberal Opposition and independent John Darley, the SA Conservatives prevailed in a stand-off over the bank tax. Labor Premier Weatherill had said he would not back down, and Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis was insistent the whole budget would only pass with the bank tax included. However, at the eleventh hour before voting on the doomed measure in the Legislative Council, the government declared that it was at last abandoning the highly unpopular tax.
Australian Conservatives said at the beginning that blocking the bank tax would in no way be a barrier to the government’s ability to pass on tax cuts to small businesses. We have been proven correct with the Treasurer today announcing the tax cuts will go ahead.
"The bank tax would have been passed on by the banks and paid for by long suffering, over-taxed South Australians," Australian Conservatives MLC Dennis Hood said, "Every South Australian would have paid for this tax one way or another. It's time that Governments learned that new and higher taxes actually stifle growth and certainly don't create employment."
"To foster growth and employment Governments must cut existing taxes and reduce red tape which allows the private sector to flourish, creating growth and employment. Taxes are the enemy of economic growth and that's why the Australian Conservatives were determined to stop this tax."
The ABC reports this morning that the Australian Conservatives MLCs have indicated they will support an alternate levy on foreign buyers in the SA housing market, which will go some way to helping with the state budget.
The move comes as Conservatives have been advocating for payroll tax relief for South Australian employers, to enable the creation of more jobs.