"Industry's call for no new taxes and charges has largely been accepted by the Victorian Government in today's Budget, which also recognised the need for spending constraint. It is a case of being somewhat relieved that business does not bear even greater burdens," Tim Piper, Victorian Head of the peak employer association Ai Group, said today.

"However, the impact on business from government costs will not be reduced, nor will the huge level of government debt which is not projected to reduce until well into the future. The Government needs to deliver on these projections.

"This is the Budget of a new Premier placing her stamp on State expenditure and the Government. It is a definitive move away from the approach of the previous regime. It understands that business cannot be hit further and the spiralling of debt has to stop.

"While tax increases have been kept to a minimum, the Waste Levy and Fire Services Levy have both increased, which will cost businesses, but these increases are relatively modest.

"Health, regional roads and TAFE have received welcome funding which will support industry ambitions.

"Industry also welcomes the removal of the Sick Pay Guarantee which would have effectively imposed a further levy on businesses using casual workers. The Guarantee was designed for the COVID period and the time has come to move on from government COVID support packages, including this one.

"The Government has also expressed support for local jobs and Ai Group looks forward to that support being provided in the Economic Update later this year.

"The Budget has also recognised the competitive pressures of government projects in taking skills and resources away from the private sector and has wound back some major projects," Mr Piper said.

Further comment

Tim Piper – 0411 430 301