Victoria’s highest-fee schools will face new payroll tax rules from next year, but the measure will raise $100 million less than expected after the Government backtracked from its original plan following fierce opposition. Source: The Age.
Sixty schools, or about 10 per cent of non-government schools, will pay the new tax – down from the 110 initially proposed. The Andrews Government yesterday set the threshold for the tax at schools earning $15,000 per student.
In a statement, Catholic Education Commission of Victoria said that while the increase in the threshold will be a relief for some school communities, the commission remains fundamentally opposed to the new policy.
“No Catholic school should be subject to payroll tax,” CECV executive director Jim Miles said.
“Catholic schools are not-for-profit community services working to provide the best quality education they can for Victorian children, while also remaining affordable and accessible for families who seek a Catholic education.
“Schools subjected to the new tax will face cuts to their learning and teaching programs, building and refurbishment plans, or need to increase fees at a time when cost-of-living pressures are already biting hard.”
Mr Miles said the increase in fee threshold to determine school eligibility to $15,000 is welcome and shows the Government recognised its original proposal was unreasonable.
“At least the decision to increase the fee threshold means that fewer families will be impacted than originally proposed.
“But we are deeply troubled that the Victorian Government will no longer fund some non-government schools. Some schools are going to pay more in payroll tax than they receive in state recurrent grants. No other state nor the Commonwealth government has such a policy.
“It should also be made clear that the government sector, in effect, pays payroll tax to itself. It’s completely misleading to say this new tax results in equal treatment of school sectors.”