COVID budget supports business to keep economy moving
The NSW Government has brought down a budget that will incentivise businesses to create jobs and ensure the progression of important regional projects, the Hunter Business Chamber said today.
Responding to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s pandemic budget, Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said it delivered an economic blueprint designed to boost employment, drive investment and build infrastructure.
“At a time when the Government has many pressing funding priorities, we are pleased to see money allocated in the budget to advance planning or construction of important regional projects like the M1 Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace ($21 million), Newcastle Inner City Bypass ($20m) , the Maitland ($220m) and John Hunter Hospitals ($16m), Nelson Bay Road upgrade ($6.5m) and the Singleton and Muswellbrook bypasses ($8.5m),” Mr Hawes said.
“While some of the funding may be less than hoped for, the amounts allocated largely reflect that stage at which the respective projects have reached and importantly ensure that the projects do not stall.
“There may also be opportunity to derive additional project funding from increased allocations made to the Regional Growth Fund, the Regional Job Creation Fund and the $600 million for Special Activation Precincts, of which Williamtown is one.
“It is also encouraging to see increased funding for water security, with the Lower and Upper Hunter areas to benefit.
“Unfortunately, some key projects have missed out, including Hunter Park and the Newcastle Airport upgrade, but we will continue to work towards securing support for those.”
Mr Hawes said the Chamber was pleased to see measures that would support business to lead the state into the next phase of economic recovery. These include the following:
- $2.4 billion worth of cuts to payroll tax, with the payroll tax threshold to be increased to $1.2 million, the rate lowered from 5.45 to 4.85 per cent, and exemptions for businesses that create more than 30 jobs;
- $1,500 digital vouchers for small businesses that don’t pay payroll tax to offset NSW Government fees and charges;
- $80 million to support the creation of new apprentices, trainees and cadets on social housing projects delivered by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation;
- Targeted support for hard-hit industries including tourism, hospitality and the arts and $500 for vouchers to every NSW adult to spend at entertainment and hospitality venues;
- A $107.1 billion infrastructure pipeline, expected to generate 145,000 jobs;
- $5 million program to help businesses prepare and submit tender documents;
- $40 million boost for the Business Connect program over three years.