Labor’s “innovation tax”

Bill Shorten’s Labor Party is set to back a new body that would look at, including a “robot tax” on employers, aimed at ensuring workers displaced by automation are redeployed into jobs on similar pay and conditions.

The Conservative Party is calling this out as effectively an “innovation tax” which will further penalise already cash-strapped businesses.

The Australian reports, ALP and union sources say agreement has been reached on a tripartite forum of employers, ­unions and Labor government representatives to “aid government policy thinking” on automation and the future of work.

The agreed platform change is expected to be endorsed by the ALP conference on Sunday.

An accompanying conference resolution put up by the Australian Workers’ Union, says Labor should consider different employer levy models to fund the ­retraining of workers.

The most radical option is a temporary, economy-wide “training levy” for businesses with 100 or more employees, with the funds to be used to help retrain workers in higher and vocational education.

The resolution says Labor should also consider creating a “redundancy and retraining guarantee fund” for medium to large businesses.

Under this proposal, a “small percentage of employee costs” would be payable into a fund that would be used to retrain workers directly impacted by automation or redundancy. The funds would be in addition to redundancy and entitlement payments.

All of these new massive cost imposts on business will further put a brake on the Australian economy on top of the economic havoc the Labor Party’s changes to superannuation and negative gearing are also predicted to.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi says the only way to put the kibosh on Labor’s economy-wrecking insanity is to vote for your Conservative Party Senate candidate at next year’s federal election so that the Conservatives can hold the balance of power for common sense government.