The Queensland Government is set to create a $500 million loan facility to extend the coronavirus payroll tax deferral to all companies across the state.
The facility comprises loans of up to $250,000 and will be offered without interest in the first 12 months to help businesses retain jobs.
This goes on top of the Australian Government’s commitment to a $6.7 billion cash flow boost for employers and offer of administrative relief for certain tax obligations.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rapidly evolving impacts of the pandemic demanded a rapidly evolving response from the government.
“We know just how tough Queensland families and businesses are doing it in the face of this pandemic,” she said.
“We know the effects of this outbreak will grow and intensify, and as they do, so will our measures to protect Queenslanders’ health, their jobs and their businesses.”
Almost 300 small and medium businesses have taken up the initial offer of payroll tax deferral.
“As the Prime Minister has pointed out, it’s small businesses that are hurting the most, and it’s them we moved to help first with our initial payroll tax deferral earlier this month,” Queensland’s Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said.
“But we are seeing this outbreak is having a devastating impact on all Queensland companies, large and small, so now we will extend the offer of a six-month payroll tax deferral to all affected businesses across the state.
“Through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, we already have the mechanism in place to start rolling these loans out the door as soon as possible to help Queensland businesses keep staff on and survive this downturn.”
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed the state government’s initiative, stating it would benefit mining companies and the sector’s 14,400 suppliers across Moranbah in central Queensland, Morningside in Brisbane and Mount Isa.
“It will mean payroll tax payments would not be due until 31 July,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“Our industry welcomes the government’s efforts to support business in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).”
Macfarlane, however, demanded for more measures including stability on royalties, taxes, fees and charges.
“At uncertain times when confidence is low, it’s critical that the government commits to stability, providing greater certainty and improve confidence,” he said.