‘Very targeted’: Acting Premier defends mental health levy

Acting Premier James Merlino has defended his government’s decision to introduce a mental health levy on big businesses, arguing many of the 9000 companies that would be affected are multinational corporations.

Mr Merlino was in Bendigo on Friday morning to spruik the record $3.8 billion investment to fix the state’s “broken” mental health system, which will be partially offset by businesses with a payroll tax of greater than $10 million.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas at the 2021 state budget lockup.Credit:Joe Armao

“This is an investment we need to make as we rebuild our mental health system of recurrent funding year after year as we rebuild the system,” he said. “It’s completely separate to our capital program within the budget.

In terms of cost, the vast majority of our infrastructure projects are on time and on budget.”

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