South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill unsure how fringe benefits tax change might affect Holden

Treasurer Chris Bowen said changes would prevent people from claiming arbitrary, unjustified figures and the Government expected to save $1.8 billion over four years. He said the savings were to be directed toward paying for the Government’s planned switch from a fixed to floating carbon price. Mr Weatherill said he was working hard to ensure Holden kept manufacturing in Adelaide whatever the alterations to fringe benefits tax. “I haven’t seen the detail of what’s proposed by the Commonwealth and the effect it’s going to have in relation to the car industry, but we are in negotiations at the moment with the Commonwealth Government and with Holden to save Holden,” he said. The Premier said Holden had not made any specific request to the South Australian Government for increased taxpayer funding, but the Commonwealth was leading the discussions with the car maker. “Our position at the moment is first to participate with these national negotiations,” he said. “There are a range of very important steps before there’d be any discussion about any contribution by the South Australian Government. We haven’t yet settled our existing contribution.” In a statement, Holden said it was assessing the Government’s FBT policy changes. It said its early evaluations suggested there might be a potentially-significant impact on the new car market, particularly on locally made vehicles. Holden said it fully supported the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries’ call on the Federal Government to reconsider the policy.
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