The decision by the Federal Government to defer the introduction of a $2000 cap on work related education expense deductions is evidence that the controversial plan wasn’t properly thought through.
That’s the opinion of Linda Gaunt, chief executive officer of the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) whose association had condemned such a controversial plan by pointing out the damage it would have had on the events industry.
“I do hope that whichever government uses this time to do their homework, they should listen to those of us in the know and ensure it is permanently scrapped,” she said following the announcement by federal treasurer Chris Bowen of the deferral until July 1, 2015.
“This policy was not well thought through and would have impacted not only on the education industry and the conferencing industry it would have impacted on the business events industry making it all but impossible to conference in or out of Australia.”
A recently released economic statement confirmed the deferral, saying that the delay “will allow for further consultation on how to best target excessive claims while ensuring the impact on university enrolments and genuine continuing professional development is minimised”.
While this is a positive move, Gaunt believed further campaigning would need to be done to convince the government to completely axe a capping plan.
“We are deeply concerned this policy will affect the viability of PCO and Event Management businesses throughout Australia,” she warned when first learning of the proposed plans.
“This policy will hinder an industry already threatening a skills shortage,” she added. “Furthermore, it will adversely affect the competitiveness of Australian workers in the global marketplace.”
The MEA called on “concerned industry practitioners” to send in feedback as part of a strategy to have the policy overturned.
“Congratulations to all associations for working together and collaborating on this one,” she said. “It should never have had to occur.”