Media Release - Ben Wyatt, WA Treasurer: Training reforms better use of taxpayer dollars

As published by the West Australian - 27 Feb 2018

The Japanese term “kaizen” should resonate for those in business. It is a philosophy by which all employees look continuously to improve their performance. It is also a sound approach for governments. When you see something that is not working as well as it should, you change it for the better.

Last year, the State Government flagged important reforms to a scheme that reduces payroll tax liabilities for employers who enrol their employees in approved training courses.

The original intent of the exemption was to encourage the expansion of apprenticeship training in the State and for businesses to hire and train new staff.

However, while well-intentioned, it has become clear it is in desperate need of reform. First, it was being rorted, which means that WA taxpayers were being rorted. The fact that this rorting was legal highlights the need for change.

Compounding the pain, households had to pick up more of the burden for the State’s revenue.

To highlight how the scheme was open to abuse, in 2013 an application was received for the entire workforce of a large organisation to be regist