The Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber believes the State Budget will be positively received by the business community across the Region as it provides both tax relief and invests in infrastructure and skills for the future.
“This is a Budget which provides some welcome relief for small business in the form of an increased payroll tax threshold and builds future capacity through record investment in infrastructure and skills,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“Importantly, the budget recognises the need for fiscal responsibility with an average surplus of $1.6 billion per year projected over the forward estimates, despite revenue from stamp duty being lower than expected over the coming years,” Mr Beard said.
“The NSW Business Chamber actively supported the proposal to lease the state’s electricity assets to drive investment in much needed infrastructure, and provide financial security for years to come. That has come to fruition.
“The NSW Business Chamber has long cautioned that stamp duty revenue was providing somewhat of a false picture of the strength of the State’s finances, however this is a Budget that recognises the role the business community, particularly small business plays in getting the economy firing.
“The previously revealed extension of the payroll tax threshold to $1 million over the next four years has been celebrated by businesses of all sizes. Already a number of businesses have commented they will be taking on more staff on account of not being slugged with payroll tax or associated administrative expense.
“The NSW Business Chamber made an increase in the payroll tax threshold the central plank of advocacy efforts and we are pleased the Government have listened to the needs of small business.
“More than $35 million has been set aside to extend the Easy to Do Business program, a concept enthusiastically championed by the NSW Business Chamber during its trial stages when it assisted restaurants and cafes – its extension to the housing construction sector will make it easier for new players to set up operations.
“One of the growing challenges for businesses in NSW, particularly regional businesses is in the ability to attract and retain skilled staff, to do the jobs now and into the future.
“The Government is looking to close the gap on the skills shortage through the provision of 100,000 free apprenticeships, and a mandate that new Government infrastructure projects must have a workforce of at least 20% apprentices.
“Regional NSW will also see an additional $4.15 billion from the sale of Snowy Hydro. The Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund will provide funding for regional infrastructure across regional and rural NSW.
“This Budget focuses on making Sydney and regional centres better connected through increased spending on major transport systems, which has been a long frustration for business and regional communities.
The Budget confirms $87.2 billion in infrastructure investment across a number of significant projects including:
- $2.4 billion Sydney Metro Northwest
- $1.9 billion Sydney Metro City and Southwest
- $1.8 billion to continue delivery of WestConnex
- $1.2 billion to continue Pacific Highway upgrade
- $880 million investment in technology to improve rail network performance
- $600 million for road safety infrastructure upgrades
“With an election in NSW now just nine months away, the Government has made its pitch through this Budget on the back of solid economic management being able to provide opportunities to support business growth, investment and job creation. However it’s vital that regional NSW is not left behind, and we expect to see activity on the ground in the coming months,” Mr Beard said.