NSW employers laud the state budget's 'focus on immediate support'

Groups say that the state tackled 'much-needed' reforms

NSW employers laud the state budget's 'focus on immediate support'

New South Wales (NSW) employers said the focus on immediate support in pressure point areas while maintaining a commitment for much-needed reform were the “hallmarks” of the NSW Budget.

Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter said that despite the state’s economic circumstances for the past three years, the government’s recent economic management has meant that NSW is in a solid financial position.

“This Budget contains a series of measures to address key cost of living measures as well as reforms in areas such as housing affordability, childcare accessibility and education performance, all areas which have been neglected for too long,” Hunter said.

Switch to Land Tax 

Hunter said that a central issue to address the cost-of-living pressure was the proposed change from Stamp Duty to a Land Tax option for first-home buyers.

“Business NSW has long advocated for Stamp Duty reform as a way to address housing availability and affordability, and back in 2016 this organisation launched a detailed report on how to tackle this very change,” he said.

Despite the potential impact on the “overall bottom line,” Hunter said it is pleasing that the government is prepared to address the issue of living pressures and introduce appropriate measures.

“The equity housing initiative is one which, given the expected take up, should enable more people to break into the housing market without sending prices soaring,” he said.

Accessible childcare

Among the critical issues addressed in the NSW budget is accessible childcare to kickstart a child’s future.

“We’re betting on our kids, because we know investing in our kids and giving them a great education is what sets them up for a great life,” NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said.

Hunter said that the government’s decision to focus on affordable childcare would provide greater stability for parents, who are often faced with dilemmas between their careers and the care of their children.

“These initiatives will result in increased workforce participation, which is a key strategy to address skills shortages, by particularly encouraging more women back into work,” he said.

‘Future economy fund’ and infrastructure projects 

Another key focus of the budget is the Future Economy Fund which will grant businesses in “future industries” payroll tax exemptions until July 2027.

According to Business Insider, the NSW Government will pledge $703.4m in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to attain the state’s aim to an entire life cycle of innovative businesses and drive productivity in emerging high-value industries.  

Hunter said that the business community across the state will be encouraged with the economy fund as this will provide “direct funding to drive research and development, assist in the commercialisation of products and accelerate investment in priority sectors.”

To further strengthen the government’s focus on reform, the Business NSW said the government is delivering a $112bn infrastructure program over the next few years, highlighted by funding for Stage 2 of Parramatta Light Rail.

Employers said such funding would “bring confidence” to the business community, who have long feared the project would not progress.

“This will enable thousands to live closer to their work and make commuting so much easier,” Hunter said.

Recently, Treasurer Matt Kean announced a deficit of $16.6bn for 2022, which was reduced to $11.3bn the next financial year, with a return to surplus expected in 2024-25.

He said the latest NSW budget is a “once-in-a-generation reform budget for the people of NSW,” which aims to build a better future for everyone in NSW.

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