The New South Wales (NSW) Government recently released its 2020/2021 state budget, but what departments and industries have been hit hard, and who are coming out as champions? After the brutal impact of Covid-19 on the NSW state, it has been crucial for the NSW Government to allocate additional funds to industries hit the most by the pandemic. Continue to discuss the winners and losers of the 20/21 NSW budget.
Businesses – There is no lie, that NSW businesses were one of the hardest hit by Covid-19. In order to build this back, the NSW Government has implemented a $500 million dollar “Out and About” stimulus. This allows all NSW residents 18+ to receive $100 worth of digital vouchers to spend in restaurants, cafes, bars, performing arts venues, cinemas, or amusement parks. The program will be trialed in Sydney’s CBD in December and rolled out across the rest of the state next year.
First Home Buyers – Homebuyers in the lower price range could be big winners under a major overhaul of the state’s stamp duty tax. The proposed reforms mean buyers would be given the choice of paying stamp duty or a smaller annual property tax. The aim is to get more first home buyers into the property market. This would see existing stamp duty concessions for first home buyers replaced with a grant of up to $25,000.
Employment – The NSW Government has put a strong focus with this budget on jobs: job security, job creation, and job growth. With the ABC reporting, more than 300,000 people across NSW are currently unemployed, it is vital that the government focuses on decreasing this number. But Treasury predicts the Government’s measures will help reduce unemployment to 5.25 percent and put 270,000 people back into work by June 2024. That’s still not back to pre-COVID levels of 4.5 percent unemployment.
Part of the Government’s push includes the $250 million Jobs Plus program which aims to create up to 25,000 new jobs by mid-2022 by encouraging interstate and international businesses to relocate to NSW.
Under the program, businesses that create at least 30 new jobs will receive payroll tax relief for up to four years.
Infrastructure – The government is investing in $107.1 billion in infrastructure, including fast-tracking major projects to smaller scale initiatives like replacing lights across the state’s schools with LED lights.
Parents – The government is extending free community preschool for three to five-year-olds at a cost of $120 million.
Renewable Energy – The Government has made its intentions clear on climate, with a $32 billion renewable energy plan to transition away from coal-fired power. The budget has provided for a $50 million grant the Government says will drive investment in private infrastructure worth $32 billion in renewable energy over the next decade. The aim is to drive electricity prices down while creating more than 9,100 jobs.
Public service – NSW mandarins will be one of the biggest targets of the Treasurer’s savings measures, with a four-year freeze on public service pay rises at 1.5 percent and a focus on cutting “wasteful” spending, like travel, events, and contractors.
Economy – There is no surprise that the NSW economy has taken a massive hit due to the force of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the ABC reporting “NSW’s budget has plunged into a $16 billion deficit and is not expected to return to surplus until 2024.
The Government’s overall spend on the COVID-19 pandemic has reached $29 billion.
At the same time, forecast revenue is down by $25 billion over five years.”