This month, former state political journalist and government relations expert, Becher Townshend shares his insight on the fourth Hodgman Liberal Government budget. In an exclusive column for the TBR, Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon, reveals the opposition’s budget reply, spruiking a new correctional facility in the state’s north and eight new Industry Advisory Councils.
JUNE 2017 T A S M A N I A’ S L E A D I N G B U S I N E S S P U B L I C A T I O N . C I R C U L A T I O N 1 2 , 0 0 0 M O N T H LY Budget with heart By BECHER TOWNSHEND THE business community has applauded the State Government’s fourth Budget which reaps the rewards of strong fiscal management with health, education, cost of living and jobs at its heart. Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Michael Bailey said the Budget was great for business and growth in Tasmania, with a simple approach from the Government of expenditure being below income. The centrepiece for the 17/18 Budget is an additional $650 million for health over the next four years, with 106 extra beds and more doctors, nurses and health professionals, while medical facilities will be upgraded in Kingston, Hobart, Glenorchy, St Helens and Latrobe. In addition, we’ll see a second rescue helicopter in the skies, while child support funding will see a $27.5 million increase and NDIS commitments will total some $270 million. Education sees an increase of some $250 million over the next four years, with a special fund of $17.8 million for better learning outcomes in regional areas. For the many mums and dads out there finding it difficult to make ends meet, power price increases have been capped at two per cent for the next four years, while water and sewerage charges will be capped to a maximum increase of 3.5 per cent, down from 5 per cent, should the Government be successful in its TasWater take over. In addition, there’s more funding for jobs, squarely aimed at getting young people into the workforce, with two-year payroll tax exemptions for apprentices and trainees, with one year of assistance for those aged between 15 and 24 not in formal training who get a job. Small business gets a similar subsidy program, all designed to give young Tasmanians a reason to stay in the state. Other initiatives include funding to support first home buyers purchasing a new house, while local government scores $300,000 to finalise local planning provisions and implement the statewide planning scheme. Agriculture receives another $12.5 million for the agri- Continued Page 2 ... at a glance • Operating Surplus for 16/17 of $77.3 million, falling slightly to $54.3 million for 17/18 but a fiscal deficit of $160 million which won’t become positive until 19/20 with a modest $2.8 million. • Growth for this financial year is expected to be 2.5 per cent, which is above trend and shows the strength of the Tasmanian economy when compared to the rest of the nation. • Revenue growth to government is expected to be 2.7 per cent over the forward estimates, while expenditure growth is still below that of revenue but has increased from a cap of 1.1 per cent in 14/15 to 2.4 per cent. • GST and tax: GST revenue is predicted to increase by $88.2 m next financial year, while stamp duty is up $55.6 m. helping to contribute to a $300 m. increase in revenue for a total 17/18 budget of $5.874 billion. • Unemployment predicted to remain steady at 6.5 per cent despite currently sitting at 5.8 per cent. Treasurer Peter Gutwein, centre, outlines the State Budget at the TCCI Budget Breakfast at Wrest Point, Hobart, flanked by TCCI CEO Michael Bailey, left, and Premier Will Hodgman. RISKY BUSINESS? Do you know if you’re at risk? When you run a business, you have enough to worry about. Let Workplace Assured help you find out. We’ll handle the workplace relations risks so you can focus on the day-to-day. Workplace issues are on the rise, nearly 18,000 claims were recorded in the Fair Work Commission last year. Relax and enjoy your business knowing the ‘What if’ is taken care of. Your fixed fee purchases something priceless – complete peace of mind. Like what you’re hearing? Get a free quote today: Call 1300 575 394 Email email@example.com Visit workplaceassured.com.au Workplace Assured includes complimentary membership to the TCCI. Workplace Assured is proudly brought to you by NSW Business Chamber