Bligh Labor was hell-bent on hitting small business with a ‘scrooge tax’ before Christmas – dressed-up as a waste reduction levy.
LNP Shadow Small Business Minister Jann Stuckey said Labor’s waste levy would hit small businesses for six while doing nothing to reduce the amount of landfill waste in Queensland.
“It’s a dirty, nasty scrooge tax on small business that could add more than $3000 a year to the cost of running a medium-sized restaurant,” Ms Stuckey said.
“This is going to smash hospitality and tourism in Queensland at a time when both sectors are struggling and many operators are going to the wall.
“Combined with Federal Labor’s carbon tax of $26 a tonne, the new $35 a tonne tax – which will apply to commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste – is really going to hurt.
“While the waste tax will not apply to municipal waste, such as council kerbside-collected household bins, it’s really going to hit business – ranging between $35 and $150 per tonne for higher hazard regulated waste. And Labor will increase this tax with annual CPI increases – even without Gillard’s carbon tax being factored in.”
Ms Stuckey said with Queensland businesses already struggling with soaring input costs from electricity and water and higher state taxes and charges on everything from fuel to licence fees, the very last thing they needed was a new waste tax.
“Labor is spinning the new levy will drive behavioural change by creating a price disincentive to dispose of waste to landfill – but what it’s going to do is lead to more illegal dumping.
“Queensland needs commonsense laws that the whole community understands and believes in – not rushed through taxes that hit the very sectors responsible for economic activity and job creation.”
Ms Stuckey said while average household waste had risen in recent years to 267 kg per resident per year, Queensland businesses were leading the way in waste recovery in the commercial and industrial stream, accounting for 48 per cent of recovered waste compared with 36 per cent from the municipal stream.
“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has found most businesses are willing to support recycling and sound environmental practices, however most businesses believe they have little to no opportunity to increase their recycling and recovery capacity.
“In short, Queensland businesses need more than another tax to boost recycling.”
*CCIQ estimates additional cost at $3120 the average Qld restaurant