NSW Nationals Candidate for Coffs Harbour and small business owner Gurmesh Singh has slammed the opposition’s payroll tax policy as disastrous for business.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro, Mr Singh said NSW Labor leader Michael Daley recently vowed to cancel payroll tax relief measures, which will destroy jobs, damage business confidence and ultimately hurt the state economy.

Mr Singh said the pledge would have a devastating result on small business owners like himself.

“Given Labor’s tagline is about ‘putting people first’, I find it hard to believe they’ve done their homework when it comes to the thousands of small businesses in NSW who will suffer from this payroll tax commitment,” he said. “Small businesses owners are the economic backbone of NSW, and this is the last thing our hard-working families want to hear in Coffs Harbour and the rest of the state.”

In the 2018-19 NSW budget, it was announced the payroll tax threshold would be lifted progressively to $1 million, meaning 5000 businesses would pay no payroll tax, and about 40,000 would save up to $13,625 by 2021-22.

Mr Barilaro said if Labor implemented their policy, they would cap the threshold at $850,000, which meant around 38,000 businesses would continue to pay up to $8175 more payroll tax every year.

“This policy of the opposition’s is just more proof that they don’t care about the hardworking people of NSW, and that they’ll tax small businesses to top up their own bank account,” he said. “It’s the Nationals in Government who are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to looking after small business owners in NSW. We have raised the threshold to help those who take on the responsibility of running a business, who create important job opportunities for others. Whilst the Nationals in Government provided over $5 billion in tax cuts since the 2017-18 Budget, the Labor Party is raising taxes.”

“Under Labor, everyone always ends up paying more.”