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Budget relief for families but what about Victorian businesses?

CPA Australia 3 mins read
Gavan Ord, Business Investment and International Lead, CPA Australia.

7 May 2024

Budget relief for families but what about Victorian businesses?

  • Victorian budget does little to support beleaguered businesses
  • Cost of business and regulatory pressures are taking their toll
  • Minimal new investment in business support is not the gamechanger needed
  • Tax sigh of relief for property investors following the 2023 budget

Many Victorian families will receive a welcome cash boost, but Treasurer Tim Pallas’ 2024 budget did little for struggling businesses in the state, says CPA Australia.

Cost of living pressures are undoubtedly hurting households, as well as businesses. But many small and medium sized businesses are also feeling overwhelmed by red tape at a time when they need to focus on running their business, not complying with new obligations.

The regulatory environment, weak economy and cost of doing business has created a perfect storm that many businesses are struggling to withstand.  

But at least this budget is not a repeat of last year’s shock for businesses and property investors, with no new or increased taxes and levies.

“Federal, state and local governments need to take a holistic view of the regulatory impact they are having on business. New regulation, when considered in isolation, often looks reasonable, but when it’s added to every other regulation and business challenge, it can become overwhelming,” explains Gavan Ord, Business Investment and International Lead at CPA Australia.

“It's disappointing that this year’s budget did not include any measures to alleviate business costs and ease the regulatory burdens being placed on businesses. While the budget had a commendably strong focus on family finances, everyone in Victoria would benefit from a budget where business was more at its centre.”

CPA Australia is very disappointed that the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) received no additional funding. The VSBC’s services are fundamental to resolving commercial tenancy disputes – keeping businesses out of the courts and in their business. Without a boost in funding, their ability to meet the needs of business in a timely manner will be impacted, leaving businesses unnecessarily tied up in such disputes.

Payroll tax remains a bugbear for Victorian businesses. While the government will continue with its proposed increases in the payroll tax threshold announced in the last budget, the threshold at which Victorian businesses start to pay payroll tax still remains the lowest in the country. Further, the increase in payroll tax rates for large businesses to pay for COVID debts and the mental health and wellbeing services remains.

Taxpayers may see a more active State Revenue Office as it receives extra funding to expand its compliance activities.

The budget did include a small increase in funding to improve toolkits that help build business skills. This may help a little but much more is needed. 

Mr Ord says: “Our recent Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey found that Australian small businesses lag their counterparts across the Asia-Pacific region in technology uptake, innovation, business management and exporting. Small programs announced in the budget are nowhere near sufficient to move the needle on small business performance. 

“As accountants, we fully understand the financial situation the Victorian Government faces, however the case to further increase public investment into programs that build the skills small businesses need for growth and improved productivity is strong.”


About us:

About CPA Australia   

CPA Australia is Australia’s leading professional accounting body and one of the largest in the world. We have more than 172,000 members in over 100 countries and regions. Our core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. We engage with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. Find out more at cpaaustralia.com.au


Contact details:

Simon Downes, External Affairs Lead, simon.downes@cpaaustralia.com.au or 0401 461 503

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