The NSW government has released its 2020-21 Budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, a deficit of $16bn is forecast for the 2020-21 financial year, due to an increase in spending in relation to various temporary stimulus to help the economy recover and lower revenues. With these measures in place, the NSW government expects shrinking deficits over the next 4 years, with a return to surplus forecast in 2024-25.
- “out and about” measure will provide $100 digital vouchers to each NSW adult resident to stimulate spending in restaurants, visitor sites and cultural attractions.
- government will seek feedback from the public on a possible transition away from the current transfer (stamp) duty and land tax system, in order to reduce barriers to home ownership and boost long-term economic growth.
- grants of up to $5,000 to help women return to the workforce to be used for training and support. The $10m in total grants will target specifically women who have lost jobs due to the pandemic or have been out of the workforce for an extended period to return to work.
- permanent increase in the payroll tax-free threshold from $1m to $1.2m.
- cut in the payroll tax rate from 5.45% to 4.85% will also apply from 1 July 2020 for 2 years.
- small to medium business will be able to apply for a digital voucher (up to the value of $1,500) to cover the cost of any government fees and charges. The voucher will be accessible through the MyService NSW portal and operate as a rebate, where a claim can be made after the fees and charges have been paid. It will be available for use from April 2021 to 30 June 2022.
- Job Plus Program which will provide companies that move their head offices to NSW between 15 December 2020 and 30 June 2022 certain benefits such as payroll tax relief, fast-tracked planning approval pathways, and subsidised training programs among other things.
- $57.4m to create Trades Skills Pathway Centre over 4 years to address skills shortages in the NSW economy and support employment for women through the creation of new trades pathways and improving skilled employment opportunities.
- $39.3m business connect program extension to assist more businesses navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
- $80m in support for apprenticeships and cadetships in the community housing and construction sectors.
- $15m to help revitalise the Sydney CBD including through promoting outdoor entertainment and al fresco dining.