The NSW Budget has been described by Helen Waldron, NSW Head of the peak employer association Ai Group, as a “responsible budget that charts a solid path to fiscal repair”.
“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,” she says.
“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.”
Ms Waldron notes that 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,” she says, “the business community had anticipated reductions in programs while hoping for minimal increases in taxes and other charges.”
Ms Waldron says NSW businesses and employees will be relieved that the NSW government didn’t 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,” she says.
“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.”