Higher state taxes and workers compensation charges are reducing the competitiveness of the South Australian printing industry.

This has prompted calls from Printing Industries South Australia for the State Government to reduce its charges in line with those of other states and territories. 

The move follows completion of a study by Printing Industries, ‘Improving the Competitiveness of the South Australian Printing Industry: Recommendations for South Australian Reform to State Taxation and to the Workers’ Compensation Scheme,’ which found that the competitiveness of the South Australian industry in the national market was being undermined by higher state taxes and workers compensation charges in SA when compared to other states and territories. 

Printing Industries General Manager, South Australia, Mr Peter Mansfield said it was imperative that the taxes be reduced to be consistent with the lowest of other Australian states and territories. 

“This move would provide the opportunity for the South Australian printing industry, a significant manufacturing sector in this state, to compete nationally for business on merit and ability,” he said. 

“Australia is rapidly becoming one national printing market where competition for business is no longer separated by regional or state boundaries. In such a competitive market the level of state generated costs relative to other states is a critical component in determining the competitiveness, and therefore the future prosperity, of the 450 printing companies employing approximately 6,800 people in South Australia”. 

The study found that:

  • The cost impact of state generated taxes and duties on a South Australian small printing business is the highest in Australia and the second highest for a medium sized printing business.
  • The cost impact of the workers’ compensation scheme on a South Australian printing business is the highest in Australia when the combined effect of the levy rate, employer excess and requirement for alternative suitable duties are taken into account.
  • The reduction in competitiveness presents a significant impediment, not only to the viability of existing printing companies, but to the potential for expansion of existing and the establishment of new businesses.  
    Mr Mansfield said the South Australian government should not be handicapping businesses operating in its state through taxation and other charges but instead doing as much as possible to improve their competitiveness. 

“We understand that our recommended reduction in charges will impact on government revenue, but if other states and territories can manage their budgets with a lesser burden on business, surely South Australia can do the same, ”he said. 

“The increased economic and employment activity likely to result from improved private sector business competitiveness would increase government revenues and encourage greater investment in South Australia than currently is the case 

“Conversely, if these taxes and workers’ compensation costs are not reduced, government revenues will decline as businesses become more uncompetitive and lose greater market share to other states, territories or to overseas. Many may decide to relocate to other states where the tax burden is less. Then everyone loses out”, he said. 

Mr Mansfield said the full study has been submitted to the State Labor and Liberal parties and Printing Industries would welcome the opportunity to meet with government representatives to discuss its findings.

Printing Industries Association of Australia


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