A TOTAL of $491m in additional tax relief has been announced by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas, in a move welcomed by the Victorian Transport Association.

The announcement means businesses that are participating in the JobKeeper program in Victoria will be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium on payments to employees if their staff are currently stood down.

Any payments additional to a part-time employee’s usual salary will also be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium, which means businesses will not have to pay more to keep their staff on due to the scheme.

The Treasurer also announced freezes on fees and fines that were due to be increased in July at current levels, including car registration, traffic infringements, court-imposed penalties and permit fees.

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The relief measures are additional to the Victorian government’s $1.7bn economic survival and jobs package, comprising tax refunds, grants for businesses in the hardest hit sectors and opportunities for affected workers to find new jobs.

“Whilst some parts of the transport industry have been busier than ever responding to unprecedented to consumer demand, others have been hit hard because of compulsory shutdowns across the economy,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.

“The additional measures announced today will go a long way toward helping businesses manage their cash flow and be able to retain and pay their staff, which will be critical for the recovery period ahead.”

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