The Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas says that the Premier’s announcement today of an additional $67 million compensation package for businesses impacted by his Government’s changing COVID rules is an acknowledgement that Dr Thomas was right in calling the initial $77 million package announced earlier this week utterly inadequate.
“I am pleased to have embarrassed the Government into further action given the paucity of their initial offer” Dr Thomas said.
“However, it demonstrates that business compensation in this state is an ad-hoc arrangement that is conducted at the Premier’s whim, instead of being a standardised package based on proper research.
“And once again the application and approval process will mean the business community will have to wait for weeks or months after the restrictions hit to even find out if they qualify.
“Business needs advance notice of the rules, especially when they keep changing those rules every week, and business needs to know in advance how they will be supported.”
Dr Thomas said that all businesses in Western Australia need certainty and consistency, because they usually plan their operations weeks in advance.
“Constantly changing the rules makes it harder for business to manage or survive, and the lack of notice or warning is damaging, especially to small businesses who have limited capacity to adapt.
“A Government with more than $15 billion in expected surpluses can afford to adequately support its business community; no jurisdiction in the country has more capacity to assist!
“So while I welcome the extra package, it is obvious that the Premier is making this up as he goes along. There appears to be no plan for business impacts beyond the McGowan media strategy.
“That may work for him, but it does not work for the business community.”