Thursday, 1 June 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Schools payroll tax


Schools payroll tax

David DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan) (12:22): (175) My question is to the Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Training and Skills. Minister, given the government’s plan for a payroll tax on non-government schools, isn’t the government’s decision to exempt universities from payroll tax surcharges simply a temporary measure?

Gayle TIERNEY (Western Victoria – Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Agriculture) (12:22): This is a matter for the Treasurer. However, the reason that that was applied at the time was because of the effect that COVID was having on the international student sector, and as a measure of good faith the Treasurer saw fit to enable that to occur.

David DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan) (12:23): My question, therefore, is: will non-government schools that offer higher education or indeed TAFE components within their VCE offerings face payroll tax on teachers salaries providing those courses, given the government’s exemption of universities and dual-sector institutions from payroll tax surcharges?

The PRESIDENT: My problem with that is that the minister is not responsible for secondary schools.

David DAVIS: On a point of order, President, a number of schools provide training and other tertiary ed courses within their VCE offerings, and those are provided in many cases by dual-sector institutions.

The PRESIDENT: Can I make a suggestion if it is acceptable to you, Mr Davis. Either we can send the supplementary question to the Treasurer or the minister can answer as she sees fit.

David DAVIS: President, there is a clear impact on these schools that do offer tertiary education offerings. Are those offerings provided by institutions the minister is responsible for?

The PRESIDENT: The minister can answer questions for what she is responsible for under the administration of the executive, and this is not her responsibility. I am happy to put it to the minister and she can answer as she sees fit. I tried to do you a deal – it could have been diverted to the Treasurer ‍– but I will let the minister answer as she sees fit.

Gayle TIERNEY (Western Victoria – Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Agriculture) (12:25): Thank you, President. Just because the terms ‘higher education’ or ‘skills and training’ are mentioned in a question does not mean that that is my responsibility. This was a decision taken by the Treasurer, and this matter should be referred to the Treasurer.