FBT threats to health care and community sector workers in Southern Metropolitan Region (27.08.13)
Written on the 28 August 2013Member for Southern Metropolitan Region, Georgie Crozier condemned the Federal Labor Government in the Victorian Legislative Council last week when she raised her concerns for the thousands of Victorian health care and community sector workers affected by Prime Minister Rudd’s ill-considered changes to FBT policy.
“The consequences of the ill-thought through fringe benefits tax policy recently announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Chris Bowen demonstrates how policy with no consultative process with important industry sectors can have far reaching and devastating impacts.”Referring to letters sent last week to Prime Minister Rudd, Ms Crozier noted that leading health groups are also concerned not just by the manner in which the announcement was made – with no notice or consultation – but without consideration of the unintended consequences for the public sector and not for profit employers and employees – including 5,000 Victorian health service staff and more than 600 Ambulance Victoria employees, “who will be worse off.”
“The ability to claim FBT is widely and legitimately used in healthcare industries to recruit and retain our highly trained and skilled workforces. This change directly threatens the workforce stability and security of these industries as it creates a perverse incentive for workforce to seek higher paid jobs elsewhere.“Salary sacrificing arrangements have been in place for many years and in Victoria, the public health sector is the second largest user of vehicle leases. Many teachers, police, nurses, community health and charity workers, paramedics and aged care workers will be directly affected by this change,” Ms Crozier said.
“This is particularly relevant for health care and community sector workers in the Southern Metropolitan Region and pertinent for our community who rely so heavily on the Monash Medical Centre, Alfred Health and their allied health services.”