The NSW Greens have slammed a special $40m gift to the racing industry as part of new wagering Point of Consumption tax laws which were rushed through the NSW Parliament late last night.
This financial gift comes off the back of public outcry over a special deal with the racing industry to allow the Opera House to be used for a racing and gambling promotion.
Point of Consumption taxes are being introduced around Australia to respond to the growth of online wagering and the location of most companies in low tax jurisdictions like the Northern Territory.
The laws passed the Legislative Council late on Tuesday night with Government and Labor Party refusing Greens amendments to scrap the special deals for the racing industry.
NSW Greens Gambling Harm Spokesperson Justin Field said, “Yet again we see more special carve outs for the racing industry. These new special arrangement strengthen the NSW Greens’ call for an independent Special Commission of Inquiry into the influence of the racing industry on NSW politics.
“This Government has shown itself to be unable to introduce positive gambling reform without conceding kickbacks to the powerful interests in the racing industry. This is tax reform that makes sense but the money should be funding schools, hospitals and public services, not being gifted to the Government’s friends in the $3.3 billion racing industry”.
“The new laws will see 20% of the collected wagering tax, equivalent to approximately $40m a year, gifted in a direct grant to the Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound Racing industries.
“The Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission will also be beneficiaries of the tax with an additional commitment of $14m over the next 4 years.
“The community continues to pay for the backflip by the Government on Greyhounds.
“These new arrangements will see a further $32m of taxpayers money over the next four years to support a cruel and dying industry. The Government said this industry must stand on its own when it was restored last year but they are continuing to throw millions at the industry to appease the Shooters and Fishers and Labor Party’s disingenuous politicking.
“The public are becoming increasingly aware that the racing and gambling industries have too much influence over the major political parties in this state.
“The Greens are calling for an independent Special Commission of Inquiry to restore public confidence and to hold the behaviour of the racing industry and the politicians who do their bidding to account.” Mr Field said.