The Marshall Liberal Government has welcomed the Federal Government’s 2020-21 Budget for its strong focus on sustaining and creating local jobs as the nation charts its economic recovery out of the COVID-19 recession.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the targeted back-to-work wage subsidy to support businesses to employ people under the age of 35 was important, and likely to assist thousands of young South Australians get back into the workforce.
Mr Lucas also welcomed the fast-tracking of income tax cuts – which the State Government had been calling for – which will put between $1080 to $2565 back into the pockets of tens of thousands of South Australians.
“This is a significant jobs budget that will go a long way in helping more South Australians get back into work,” said Mr Lucas.
“We welcome job-creating incentives for businesses, supplementary payments for pensioners and the Federal Government’s commitment to fast-track personal income tax cuts, which will stimulate the local economy by putting more money back into the pockets of hardworking South Australians.
“We also acknowledge the significant $625 million infrastructure commitment on transport projects for SA, together with other existing spending commitments, which will support thousands of local jobs.
“This is a timely boost to the Government’s record $12.9 billion infrastructure program as announced in our 2019-20 Mid-Year Budget Review.
“We also welcome the Federal Government’s commitment of a further $2 billion over two years for small scale road safety projects across the country. In South Australia, we have a series of projects ready to go, which we will be putting forward for consideration as part of this initiative.”
However, the Federal Budget has confirmed a significant GST write-down for South Australia as a result of the global pandemic.
GST revenue for the State has reduced by more than $1.3 billion in 2020-21, compared with the forecast in the 2019-20 Budget for 2020-21. This is an even larger hit than was foreshadowed in Mr Lucas’ Budget and Economic Update delivered in June 2020.
“While not unexpected, this massive GST write-down obviously presents further challenges as we prepare to deliver our own budget next month. Compared with GST estimates in our first budget, the 2018-19 Budget, GST revenue has declined by almost $5.2 billion over the four years to 2021-22.” said Mr Lucas.
“Such a significant reduction in forecast revenues, together with all the other impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, clearly puts further pressure on the State Budget.
“However, the Marshall Liberal Government has made it clear that we will do whatever we can to save as many jobs as possible, even if that means significant increases in deficit and debt.”
The SA State Budget 2020-21 will be handed down on Tuesday, November 10.