We will reverse labor's emergency service levy hikes

The State Liberals have committed to reversing the Weatherill Government’s savage increases in the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) giving South Australians desperately needed tax relief.

The State Liberals opposed the Weatherill Government’s massive increase to the ESL when it was announced and if elected in 2018 our first act will be to reverse this $90 million tax grab.

“The Weatherill Government’s massive increase to the ESL tax has placed many ordinary South Australians under intense financial pressure at the very moment they can least afford it,” said State 
Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“This $90 million tax cut will deliver annual cost of living relief for ordinary South Australians who already have the most expensive gas, water and electricity in the country.

“The ESL is a tax on the family home and the State Liberals commitment to restore the remission on the ESL will deliver an annual $168 tax cut for owners of a home worth $450,000. This amounts to a $672 tax cut over the life of the Government.

The Weatherill Government’s massive increases in the ESL tax doesn’t just hit homeowners, it is also levied on sporting clubs, community organisations, churches and independent schools.

“The increases in the ESL are cascading throughout the community, embedding higher costs for struggling families at every turn.

“The Weatherill Government’s ESL tax hike is also impacting on the quality of education South Australia’s independent schools are able to provide.

“With 35% of students attending independent schools they are an important plank in South Australia’s education system and the massive increases in the ESL is forcing them to cut services or 
increase fees.

“The Weatherill Labor Government is also putting its hand into the pockets of hard working parents every time they pay a sporting club fee or use a community facility.

“This massive tax cut will also have a positive effect on South Australia’s moribund economy, boosting business confidence, investment and job creation.

“The Weatherill Government was already highest taxing State Government in Australia before it jacked up the ESL on families and businesses across the state.

“Taking tens of millions of dollars in the ESL tax from businesses across further restricts their capacity grow their businesses and create jobs.

“The South Australian economy is flat lining under the Weatherill Labor Government’s punitive tax regime and the unemployed are paying the ultimate price of these policy failures.

“Our commitment on the ESL will be paid for through existing policies we have already announced to create efficiencies in the public sector.

“The policy we took to the 2014 election would save more than the cost of reinstating the remissions to the ESL.

“In the lead up to the 2018 election, we will have more to say on tax reform, and more importantly tax relief, to help all South Australians struggling under the burden of SA Labor’s exorbitant tax regime.”

Note: ESL tax cut would begin from 1 June 2018 under this policy.