Jane Howlett’s refusal to correct JobKeeper’s payroll and payroll tax records shows that she is not only outdated, but also out of scruples and honesty.

Shadow Minister for Small Business Janie Finlay said Ms Howlett had repeatedly misled Parliament on the matter, creating widespread confusion for small businesses in Tasmania.

“Last Tuesday, Ms Howlett told Parliament three times that JobKeeper’s payments were exempt from payroll taxes. Complete stop. ”Mrs. Finlay said.

“But this was refuted in a letter to Labor from an accounting firm in Tasmania.

“It is stated that several clients received unexpected payroll tax invoices because JobKeeper was not exempt from payroll taxes; instead, payroll tax liability has been reduced proportionately based on the percentage of wages over total wages, offering only a small relief from payroll taxes.

“It is clear that Tasmanian companies ARE subject to payroll taxes on JobKeeper’s wages, but have been made to expect something else due to the initial government titles and media coverage.

“The minister refused to correct the file at the beginning of last week and today she refused again.

“And Ms Howlett did not want to reveal when or why the form explaining the tax was recently changed.

“At a time when businesses need clarity and certainty from government, this confusion, and the unexpected responsibilities that flow from it, places an unfair burden on our already struggling business sector.

“The fact that Ms Howlett suggested that it was Minister Ferguson’s job to explain this issue, although it was she who misled Parliament,” is even more mind-boggling.

Ms Finlay said Minister Howlett not only failed to correct the record, but she couldn’t even answer a simple question about small business.

“Today, Minister Howlett did not answer even the simplest of questions about her portfolio of small businesses.

“The minister couldn’t name a single expense for a small business, not a single expense.

“This lack of response shows how out of touch Ms Howlett is, and it is clear that the Minister needs to gain a better understanding of her portfolio, this is vital for Tasmania.”

Janie Finlay, MP

Shadow Minister of Small Business

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