Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Retailers welcome NSW Budget cost-of-living measures

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed cost-of-living relief measures announced in yesterday’s NSW Budget. It has, however, called for more support for small business amid a cost-of-doing-business crisis.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra recognises the NSW government’s measures to support those struggling to make ends meet and says that any measure to put more money in the pockets of NSW families is likely to flow into the retail economy.

“Cost-of-living is the biggest issue for all Australians and NSW is no exception, so it’s good to see the budget providing some relief, which will in turn stimulate the retail sector,” he says.

“Initiatives such as preschool fee relief, toll caps and energy rebates for consumers will all play a role in freeing up the household budget – alleviating financial pressures and hopefully driving more discretionary spending.”

While Mr Zahra acknowledges the 2023-24 Budget was focused on returning the state to a future surplus, he had hoped for more support for small businesses.

“Small businesses are under unprecedented pressure from rising costs and slowing revenues – and they desperately need some relief,” he says.

“We would like to see some relief in terms of energy costs, payroll tax and workers compensation, or alignment across state borders to reduce complexity for business.”

The NSW government, notes the ARA, also made announcements in relation to the transition to net-zero emissions and building a more resilient supply chain – two key focus areas for the retail sector.

“The ARA is committed to an efficient shift to the low-carbon economy of the future, and so we welcome the governments’ announcements to reduce the costs and risk of the transition away from coal-fired generation to renewable energy sources,” says Mr Zahra.

In addition, he says: “We also welcome announcements in relation to toll relief that will reduce costs for business, and investments in road infrastructure to keep the supply chain moving in greater Sydney and the regions, particularly after natural disasters.”

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