"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.
"Inevitably, with increased spending needed to fortify and support the State and with taxation revenue falling steeply in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the State's public finances have taken a tumble. The 2019-20 deficit of $6.9 billion is projected to rise to $16 billion in the current year. From the middle of next year, the budget position is projected to improve steadily before returning to surplus in the 2024-25 year.
"Ai Group supports the spending and tax relief measures of the NSW Government since the onset of the crisis and the additional measures announced in this budget. They are supporting the stimulus provided by the Federal Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia and are combining to prevent a more severe deterioration and to help secure a more rapid recovery. As the Budget Papers make clear, with interest rates at record lows, the debt servicing costs are comfortably manageable.
"The additional infrastructure spending announced today is the cornerstone of the Government's contribution to the recovery of business and jobs in NSW. It will be supported by the reduction in the rate of payroll tax for this and the next year, the $1,500 credit for smaller businesses to help meet government taxes and charges, and the increase in the payroll tax threshold to 1.2 million from July this year. These tax measures will boost cash flow for business and reduce the costs of employment.
"The measures the Government is taking to boost skills development in NSW and to improve the employment opportunities for school leavers, women returning to work, and people looking to embark on apprenticeships and traineeships are important both for employees and for employers.
"There is a range of further measures that will assist business efforts to get the economy going again. These include the increased commitment to opening up global opportunities for NSW businesses, the extension of the important Business Connect program, the Out and About vouchers; the measures to assist smaller businesses take advantage of government procurement opportunities and the investment attraction initiative.
"Ai Group also welcomes the far-sighted steps the Government is taking to enhance public sector service delivery by embracing digital technologies; improving planning arrangements and to overhaul the taxation of property taxation in the State," Mr Goodsell said.
Further comment: Mark Goodsell – 0418 408 871