New South Wales Treasurer Mike Baird has unveiled his first budget, delivering a deficit of $718 million in 2011/12 and promising to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13. But what does it hold for businesses?
According to Baird, to deliver on its commitment to jobs growth the Government is targeting 100,000 new jobs by providing a payroll tax rebate to employers, the equivalent of one year’s average payroll tax bill for each new employee for their first year on the job. 40 percent of these new jobs are reserved for regional areas, and 60 percent for metropolitan areas.
$130 million has been allocated to attracting industry and developing businesses via the State Investment Attraction Scheme and Regional Industries Investment Fund, to improve the state economy, drive economic growth in regional areas and complement the Jobs Action Plan.
$10 million will be allocated to continue investment in the Science Leveraging Fund, which aims to attract federal funding and increase business innovation.
Businesses will also be given greater opportunity to supply a greater number of goods and services to the state government, with procurement processes to be reviewed.
For exporters, $1.8 million is being committed to a range of exporter services including education, market entry and expansion to grow exports from NSW, and $1.9 million will be used to maintain the operations of four trade offices in China, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Commenting on the budget, Baird said it takes much-needed action to regain control of the state’s finances and protect its AAA credit rating.
“It delivers a turnaround in the budget balance of $5.2 billion over the four years to 2014-15, while fully funding our election commitments. Achieving this $5.2 billion turnaround will require tough decisions to drive additional savings and to deliver the long-term structural reforms needed.”
“The O’Farrell Government’s new approach to wages policy, the displaced employees’ policy, and the commitment to greater budget discipline, compliance and accountability is expected to deliver significant savings,” he added.
Baird also revealed the Government will raise close to $944 million over four years by increasing mining royalties to offset the cost of the carbon tax.