State Budget reflects the current times
31 May 2012
The State’s leading business membership organisation, Business SA, has acknowledged that the State Government has been restricted in what could be delivered in today’s State Budget.
Business SA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Vaughan, said that the State Government had little opportunity to address wish lists in this year’s Budget.
“With the significant fall in GST and stamp duty revenue, this was always going to be a Budget that reflected these restrictions,” Mr Vaughan said.
“We acknowledge that the economy has been hit with a perfect storm of challenges and a damaging slash and burn approach would not be in the best interests of the State in the current economic environment.
“The delay in the return to surplus reflects the current outlook and contracting the economy by reducing government spending to simply achieve surplus should not be the priority.”
“While it is pleasing that no new taxes were announced, it is disappointing that the Budget did not provide any tax relief for business.
“Budgetary pressures do not lessen the impact of these high taxes on local businesses and it will continue to deter many investors from doing business here in South Australia.
“Current taxation burdens are having a direct impact on jobs, growth and investment, which is concerning as we look to accommodate a mining boom and attract more people to a vibrant and business-friendly State.”
“It is very disappointing that the Government has taken the short sighted view to reverse the payroll tax exemption for wages paid to apprentices and trainees.
“This comes at a time when the new Skills for All program is being implemented to address the growing skills shortages throughout the local economy.
“The incentive for employers to train and upskill workers has been reduced which is disappointing for our future workforce.”
“There has been much speculation about the immediate future of big spending infrastructure projects, and we welcome the ongoing commitment to the majority of these projects and the opportunities that will be generated for local businesses.
“This infrastructure will play an important role in accommodating a growing population, establishing a more vibrant economy and creating a reputation for the State as being progressive.
“These projects, from the Southern Expressway to critical CBD development, create jobs, boost confidence and attract further investment, not to mention the longer term practical impacts of the infrastructure itself.”
“It is widely recognised that we still have an over inflated public sector, and we welcome the tough calls in the Budget to address the excessive public sector growth.
“The issues in the public sector do not lie with the front line emergency workers, but the many departments which have these ‘excess employees’ and efficiency issues.
“As attention continues to be drawn to public sector inefficiency, red tape and layers of bureaucracy, we look forward to continued focus on the removal of permanent tenure.”
“The Government had little room to move in this Budget, however there is some relief with what’s in the Budget and some pain from what’s been left out.
“There is one more Budget before the next State election and we cannot afford to be constantly tagged with the most uncompetitive taxation system in the country. It continues to give the rest of the country an advantage before we even get started.
“With both Federal and State Budgets providing minimal relief to businesses, the challenges will continue and we need to look no further than July 1 when the costs of doing business will significantly increase.”