Feb 13, 2023 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2023

The Minister for Emergency Management has today confirmed that small businesses in receipt of assistance grants following floods will be taxed, despite the Prime Minister saying the opposite in Lismore last October.

In questions to the Minister today in Estimates hearings, Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Davey, sought clarification as to the conflicting answers.

Minister Watt denied the Prime Minister’s statement in Lismore which he said flood grants would not be taxed, although the journalist asked three times.

Senator Davey said the confirmation today that flood relief grants will be taxed as income at least puts an end to the confusion even if it is not the answer people want to hear.

“There are flood affected communities trying to rebuild after continuous natural disasters and the last thing they need is confusion on whether their flood payments will be taxed,” Senator Davey said.

“Now we know, under this Government, flood relief grants will be taxed.

“Previously, under the Liberals and Nationals, we deemed disaster recovery grants for Cyclone Seroja in 2021, the North Queensland floods and storms in 2019, and storms and floods between February and March in 2021 as Non Assessed Non Exempt (NANE) income.

“When people heard the Prime Minister in Lismore last year say it was not an issue and that there had been no suggestion that as a result of support for a small business, they would be taxed – many assumed this means they would not be taxed.

“Today it has been confirmed that assumption is wrong,” Senator Davey said.