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Treasurer says state government will ‘reassess capacity of the community to pay’ taxes after COVID-19

The Victorian government will have to reassess a slew of taxes after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Treasurer Tim Pallas says.

It comes after the state government yesterday announced an additional $24.5 billion for an emergency fund to fight coronavirus over the next two years.

Today, Mr Pallas ensured every cent of that fund will be spent on coronavirus response and recovery.

He acknowledged the pandemic has left the state in a very different financial position to where it was just weeks ago.

“Three to four weeks ago I was anticipating … about a $300 or $400 million dollar surplus,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Mr Pallas flagged the planned mental health levy could be a short-term casualty of coronavirus spending.

“It will certainly happen at some point. The timing of it is up for review,” he said.

He could not confirm whether the landfill levy increase due on July 1 will go ahead.

“We’re going to have to review all of these taxes, I think there is no doubt that we’re going to have to reassess the capacity of the community to pay,” he said.

Mr Pallas said the government will adopt a “much more interventionist” economic approach after COVID-19.

“It doesn’t mean tax the rich, necessarily,” he said.

“There will be companies that will need government assistance so they can see their way through this event, and we will become interventionist in order to help them see it through.”

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