The state’s peak business organisation, the New South Wales Business Chamber, says the half-yearly Budget update provided by the NSW Treasurer, which shows an estimated surplus of $3.3 billion, demonstrates that the state’s finances are in excellent shape.

“Reforms implemented by the Coalition Government since it was elected in 2011 continue to pay off, with a more responsible approach to expense management having delivered a structural improvement in the Budget position,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“The strength of the budget means that the Government is well-placed to relieve some of the pressures facing the state’s 600,000 small businesses, many of which are owned and operated by hardworking families,” Mr Cartwright said.
“219,000 jobs have been created in this state since 2015, a result that the Government deserves congratulations for. Jobs are only created when businesses feel confident to invest and expand, and NSW leads the way in this regard.
The NSW Business Chamber asked its members (overleaf) what would be on their Christmas list to support small businesses next year, and the top three responses were to reduce the burden of taxes such as payroll tax, reduce red tape and provide short-term relief to help with increasing operating costs such as energy bills.
“Reducing the burden of Payroll Tax is a top priority for the business community which is why the Chamber is calling on the Government and the Opposition to support an increase in the payroll tax threshold to $1 million,” Mr Cartwright said.
“The state’s budget has become over-reliant on stamp duty.  Stamp duty is one of the most inefficient taxes which places significant pressures on housing affordability and costs the economy 80 cents for every dollar collected.
“History shows that it is best for governments to make tough reform decisions when the budget is in a position of strength, and that time is now.
“NSW is more reliant on stamp duty than any other state or territory, and is around twice as reliant as South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Queensland; and around three times as reliant as Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
“Stamp duty has more than doubled over the past decade and it is time for the NSW Government to draw a line in the sand so that reliance on this inefficient tax does not get out of control.”
“Making the tough decisions to improve the efficiency of the tax mix today will make the task of reform more manageable into the future,” said Mr Cartwright.

Response to survey
If you were Santa Claus what would you do to support businesses over the Christmas and summer holiday period? (Please select three options for this question). (n=637)

Answer Choices Responses
Reduce the burden of business taxes such as payroll tax 400
Reduce restrictions and requirements on business (such as planning restrictions and other forms of red tape) 327
Provide short term relief to cover cost pressures such as increasing energy prices 247
Make it easier to employ people through more flexible trading hours 208
Improve local tourism infrastructure and marketing to attract holidaymakers for the season 203
Make it easier to deal with Government via greater use of Service NSW and online services 190
Gain better access to finance to expand operations and service more customers over the holiday season 146
Other 99
Make it easier to engage foreign workers, including skilled workers, to cover local labour shortages during peak seasons 91
Media Contact: Ellesa Throwden 0401 761 457