CCIQ opposes potential commercial waste tax
Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) today expressed concern at the State Government's potential introduction of a new commercial waste tax in the upcoming budget, fearing the direction of the waste management policy may unduly shift the bulk of the burden and cost of waste management onto already-struggling Queensland businesses.
CCIQ President David Goodwin said although Premier Bligh yesterday announced there would be no new taxes on households, her government seems oblivious to the fact that increasing levies, taxes and charges on the business community will indirectly impact on households.
"Talk of a new commercial waste tax is just another way the government is asking businesses to put their hands into their pockets under the pretext of trying to ease the burden on households," said Mr Goodwin.
"More taxes on the business community will see households suffer through increasing prices, lower wages and job losses.
"At a time when business confidence and economic activity is vital, the State Government continues to slog businesses with increasing costs, seriously jeopardising business viability in Queensland."
Research shows that Queensland businesses have outperformed households in minimising and reducing the impact of their waste on the environment.
The State of Waste and Recycling in Queensland 2008: Technical Report notes that there has been a steady increase in the amount of household waste produced over the past five years while in contrast, the amount of commercial and industrial waste has decreased. This is despite population and business growth.
Mr Goodwin says this research backs up the concerns of the business community that this is just another revenue-raising venture and cost shifting onto the business community.
"While CCIQ supports a 'user pays' approach to waste management and the need for strategies to drive improved waste generation and disposal practices, there is a strong case against the introduction of a levy if applied solely to the business community," Mr Goodwin said.
"Given current economic pressures, many businesses may not be in a position to pass increased costs onto customers, and thus these strategies that impost costs onto business may erode viability and ultimately have negative flow-on effects for the economy and employment levels in Queensland."
"If the government was serious about reducing waste and protecting the environment, they would impose the levy equally on all members of the community, not just businesses."