Business groups have voiced their support of the NSW Budget, saying the state is in a good position to create more jobs, improve tax and services and support the economy out of the coronavirus recession.
The budget was presented on Monday by state Treasurer Dominic Perottet at NSW Parliament. It revealed a record $107.1 billion infrastructure spend, as well as $18.2 billion to be spent on transport, $2.1 billion on health and $1.2 on education over the next 12 months.
It also showed a record $16 billion deficit for the state. NSW’s debt will peak at $104 billion in 2023/2024, and the budget will not return to surplus until the following financial year. NSW has not had a budget deficit for almost 10 years.
The Business Council of Australia, an industry group that represents Australia’s largest employers, has said the Berejiklian government’s budget should be a model for all state and territory leaders who want to create new jobs, build confidence, and lay the groundwork for reform to secure the country’s recovery.
“Every premier and chief minister in the country should be watching because NSW has set the standard for building a strong business-led recovery,” said chief executive Jennifer Westcott.
“The government’s blueprint and tax reform agenda will help make NSW the best place in the country for businesses who want to invest, expand and create new jobs.
“While some jurisdictions are talking about reform, NSW is acting.
“NSW has taken the bold step of putting major tax reform on the agenda through a consultation process on reform of stamp duty and property tax. Stamp duty is one of the more inefficient taxes that penalises economic adjustment.”
The group also supported the proposed payroll tax, which will see the government take last year’s Payroll Tax relief to a new level, increasing the threshold from $1 million to $1.2 million and the rate will be reduced to the lowest in Australia from 5.45 per cent 4.85 per cent.
“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs, reducing it for all businesses for the next two years makes sense,” Ms Westacott said. “We also welcome moves to make the state’s planning system more effective and efficient, so job creating projects can get approved and off the ground quickly.”
Another Australian employer organisation the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has voiced their support for the NSW budget, specifically the investment in infrastructure and the focus on the creation of jobs and development of skills.
“Through its investments in infrastructure; its support for job creation and skills development; and its commitment to making it easier and more attractive to do business here, the NSW Government’s 2020-21 Budget pushes the right buttons to support the recovery in the State’s economy into next year and beyond,” said Mark Goodsell, the New South Wales Head of the Ai Group.
“The Budget also looks further ahead by investing to improve service delivery across a range of portfolios, by examining ways to improve the planning processes and by taking a critical step on the path towards the much-needed overhaul of property taxation in the State.”
The NSW Government has also extended the Business Connect program for a further three years, representing a total $39.3 million, four-year commitment for small businesses. Further measures to assist small businesses also include four $25 ‘Out and About’ vouchers for Australians over 18 years old to be spent on food and entertainment.
“The measures to assist smaller businesses take advantage of government procurement opportunities and the investment attraction initiative,” said Mr Goodsell.