TWEED Chamber of Commerce president Rory Curtis.
TWEED Chamber of Commerce president Rory Curtis. Blainey Woodham

Chamber slams super changes

TWEED Chamber of Commerce president Rory Curtis has slammed federal legislation introduced this week that will increase employer superannuation contributions from 9% to 12% over the next six years.

Mr Curtis believes the public was falsely led to believe the Mining Resource Rent Tax would cover the increased cost of contributions because the superannuation levy was hidden in the same legislation.

"These are two separate issues that should have been debated that way - separately," Mr Curtis said.

"Instead the government decided to package them together, wave a magic wand and trick the public into thinking that one funded the other."

Mr Curtis said he failed to see how a government compromise to cut company tax would help Tweed businesses cover the increased cost.

"At least 50% of the businesses in the Tweed don't pay company tax because of their structure regardless of turnover, because they are a trust, a partnership or a sole trader," Mr Curtis said.

"The short version is that it will simply increase the cost of business which is rather ironic given the federal and state governments have now appointment people to try and cut business red tape and reduce the amount of time and money we all spend being compliant with the various state and federal laws and regulations.

"It's a little like leaving the inmates in charge of the asylum."

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) also disregarded any benefit from tax concessions.

Speaking after the senate vote, ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said the mining tax passage was a "dark period in transparency and public policy for the Australian parliament."

With the Bills passed, the ACCI is now calling on the government and the coalition to find a funding base for the levy rise, and to announce their plans on budget night 2012, well in advance of the first rise in the superannuation levy in July 2013.

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