A record $107 billion for ‘shovel and screwdriver-ready’ infrastructure projects, cuts to payroll tax rates and the prospect of nation-leading reform to stamp duty on housing, lay at the heart of the NSW Government’s Budget released today by NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet.
Described by the Treasurer as ‘building a prosperous post-pandemic NSW’, the Budget’s focus to turbo-charge jobs seeks to return 270,000 people to the workforce by June 2024. The Treasurer revealed the pandemic has put NSW in deficit to the tune of $16 billion, he committed to returning the budget to surplus by 2024-25.
The silver lining to the pandemic is that it has cleared the way for overdue policy in the form of bold tax reform. To jump-start the post-COVID job creation, the Government will implement a two-year payroll tax rate cut from 5.45 per cent to 4.85 per cent and a permanent increase in the payroll tax threshold from $1 million to $1.2 million. The Government believes these tax cuts, worth $2.8 billion, will provide an average saving of around $34,000 a year providing the incentive for businesses to recruit.
Taking it one step further, the Government has also announced a public consultation process to consider removing one of the biggest barriers for entering the property market, the much-maligned stamp duty system. This would allow buyers entering the property market to pay a smaller annual property tax rather than upfront stamp duty.
To immediately support and bolster those businesses doing it tough, every adult resident will receive $100 worth of ‘Out & About’ vouchers to encourage them to stimulate local businesses as we move towards Summer. This will be welcomed by restaurants, cafes and the entertainment sector which has been hard hit by the virus.
To help working families, the Government has also extended the 15 hours of free preschool per week package to the end of 2021.
The Government wants to attract world-class multinational businesses and connect NSW companies with global markets and international investors, investing $180 million on its Global NSW Strategy. The aim is creating thousands of new jobs across the advanced manufacturing, defence, medtech and space industries.
Some key highlights include:
There is $240 million this financial year and more than $570 million over the next four years to continue speeding up the planning system. Funding will go toward reforming the Planning System to significantly reduce timeframes for application determinations, streamlining e-Planning to allow councils and state agencies to use one platform and establishing a dedicated Planning Delivery Unit to work with Government agencies to fast-track planning projects.
Health spending has accounted for almost one-third of the NSW Budget, with a record $29.3 billion package. The health budget includes:
Regional and rural NSW will receive funding across health, transport, roads and infrastructure projects, including: