A Matt Guy Liberals and Nationals Government will freeze all existing local government business fees, charges and levies, and prevent the introduction of new ones for a period of four years.
Helping small businesses to get ahead is a very important part of our Long Term Economic Plan.
It’s not easy running a small business. They were hit the hardest by Daniel Andrews’ world-record lockdowns, and they are now being hit with rising inflation, labour and skills shortages, and spiralling energy costs.
Local government currently impose a range of fees on the operations of Victoria businesses. Fees on businesses are generally increased by local councils each year in their annual budgets and are not regulated by the Fair Go Rates system. The rate of increase for these fees differs substantially from council to council, and in many instances they are increased by amounts well in excess of CPI.
Fees targeted for our freeze would include fees like footpath and road occupation fees, fees on hairdressers and beauty businesses, fees on food businesses, and fees on accommodation providers.
A Liberals and Nationals Government will also prevent local councils from levying new or additional fees payable by businesses under local laws.
Detailed policy implementation will be worked through in consultation with local councils, and is likely to require legislative change. A council would be required to gain the approval of the responsible minister for any exemption to this freeze on a case by case basis.
Small business is the engine room of our economy. Our Small Business Fee Freeze will keep our economy strong.
Leader of the Liberal Party, Matt Guy, said freezing small business fees was an important part of the Liberals and Nationals’ strong long-term economic plan.
“Our Small Business Fee Freeze is a real solution to help small businesses get back on their feet and our economy growing once again.”
“This fee freeze will mean less money spent on red tape and more money invested back into small business and local jobs.”
Shadow Minister for Small Business, David Southwick, said by freezing fees the Liberals and Nationals would support small businesses to recover and regain confidence.
“Small businesses across Victoria need a leg-up to get back on their feet and that is exactly what the Liberals and Nationals will deliver.”
“By freezing local government fees, we will give small business families the certainty they need to recover and move forward in confidence.”
Shadow Minister for Local Government, Richard Riordan, said this important measure would support small and family businesses across the state.
“Local government fees are a considerable cost burden for small businesses across the state and our fee freeze will provide operators with important financial relief.”
“Only the Liberals and Nationals have real solutions to support small businesses and the people who work in them.”