The Australian Government’s decision to scrap a previously proposed $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses has been welcomed by the industry.
Concerned by such a “much reviled” proposal Linda Gaunt, chief executive officer of the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA), warned it would have threatened the growth of the meetings and events industry and further threatened a skills shortage had it gone ahead.
Concerted lobbying by the MEA and other industry heads proved fruitful with Treasurer Joe Hockey announcing on Wednesday the “flawed policy” would now be dropped.
The contentious proposal was feared to have a significant impact on the business events sector, because it would have meant that attendance at conferences and professional development events was no longer tax deductible after the first $2000.
“On behalf of MEA members I am absolutely delighted that the new government has seen the ‘scrap the cap’ as not worth pursuing,” she said. “This is something that we had been hoping for and enables us to now concentrate on more worthy causes.”
Linda, like many others in the local meetings and events industry, was deeply concerned this policy would have an undesirable effect on the viability of PCO and Event Management businesses throughout Australia.
“This previous policy would have hindered an industry already threatened with a skills shortage,” she said. “Furthermore, it would have adversely affected the competitiveness of Australian workers in the global marketplace.”
The previous Federal Government was set to introduce the $2000 cap on how much people could claim on work-related expenses on education from July this year.
However, it was put on hold after a concerted effort by the meetings and events industry heads to scrap any such proposal.