Independent Schools Victoria remains steadfast in its opposition to a new tax being imposed on non-government schools, says ISV's Chief Executive Michelle Green.
Independent Schools Victoria Chief Executive, Michelle Green, has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to raise the $7,500 payroll tax threshold, but ISV’s opposition to the tax remains unchanged.
Premier's comments raise more questions
‘ISV’s opposition to the Andrews government imposing a payroll tax – the learning tax – on schools is unchanged. That will never change,’ Ms Green said.
‘The Premier continues to strongly defend the learning tax. But we welcome the conciliatory messages from the Premier in a parliamentary committee hearing on Friday, hinting the government is at least willing to abandon its $7,500 threshold for payroll tax eligibility as being too low.
‘But the Premier’s comments to the committee raised more questions than answers, especially about the criteria on which the threshold will actually be determined, and what other factors might be considered by the Minister for Education in determining a school’s liability.
‘Independent schools remain deeply concerned about the government’s plan, and we believe that the government still does not understand the unintended consequences for schools of what it’s doing.’
Learning tax a shock to schools and parents
‘The Premier talked of consultation with Independent schools before the learning tax policy is finalised – we welcome his offer of dialogue, and we are ready for discussions with the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Education.’
Independent schools, which are not-for profit operations, have been exempt from payroll tax for decades, in recognition of their long-standing contribution to the community.
Ms Green said the learning tax announced in the budget had come as a shock to Independent schools and has been greeted with dismay by the parents who send their children to them.
‘It was made without consultation and is based on an arbitrary definition of a “high-fee” school.
‘It is likely to have a damaging impact on the operations of many Independent schools, with the potential to disrupt the education of their students.’