Ai Group - Australian Industry Group

09/19/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2023 23:05

NSW Budget charts solid path to fiscal repair

"The New South Wales Budget handed down today by Treasurer Mookhey is a responsible Budget that charts a solid path to fiscal repair," Helen Waldron, NSW Head of the peak employer association Ai Group said.

"The commitment to boost housing supply has the potential to reduce homelessness and improve affordability. As the Government acknowledges, delivery on this commitment will require a concerted effort backed by the federal government and with buy-in across state and local governments and their agencies. It will also require close consultation with the housing and construction industries, their workforces and their supply chains.

"The Government's investments in energy transition; housing-related infrastructure; roads; schools; TAFEs; and hospitals are vital for the State's future and will require careful planning and sequencing in a tight labour market and with the construction sector and its supply chains stretched to capacity.

"The Budget's focus on education and training is timely and indeed necessary at a time of current and continuing shortages across a wide range of occupations and at a time when the State has committed to major efforts to boost housing supply and achieve sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

"Ai Group recognises the pressures behind the Government's commitment to higher pay for front-line public sector employees. It is vital that the increases in pay are linked to improvements in productivity and the quality of services.

"The Budget maps out a solid path to fiscal repair with a modest surplus anticipated in 2024-25.

"While the details of the costs involved in achieving this budgetary outcome are not yet fully clear, the business community had anticipated reductions in programs while hoping for minimal increases in taxes and other charges.

"Ai Group looks forward to further detail being released on the halving of budgeted expenditure for the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade. The Department's programs provide vital assistance in the development of the State's economy and the choice of program cuts cannot be taken lightly.

"NSW businesses and employees will be relieved that the NSW Government did not follow the path set out by some other state governments to impose additional ad hoc levies on employment in this state. The increase in royalties on coal producers will impose additional costs. Careful evaluation of any adverse impacts these higher levies could have on investment, employment opportunities or the supply chains linked to the coal mining industry is required.

"On behalf of the State's business community, Ai Group will continue to argue for a greater emphasis on reducing areas of poorly designed regulation and more broadly reducing the time and costs involved in compliance particularly for small and medium-sized businesses," Ms Waldron said.

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