South Australia has experienced significant reductions to estimated GST revenues to the tune of $2.1 billion since the 2018-19 mid-year budget.
This has resulted in the State Government taking a disciplined approach to the 2019-20 State Budget. There has been a focus on infrastructure and growing job opportunities, strengthening the economy, while committing to election promises of keeping costs down in some respects for small to medium sized businesses.
Education, Training and Skills
It was pleasing to see that the State Government will invest $1.4 billion in school and Vocational Education Training (VET) infrastructure over four years. The MTA will have discussions with relevant Ministers as to how the automotive industry can access this in an effort to increase apprenticeships and training, leading to a growth in employment in the automotive industry.
The State Government will also continue the promotion of opportunities and pathways through apprenticeships and other VET programs.
Payroll tax and lower costs to business
The State Government is honouring its 2018 election promise to abolish payroll tax for small businesses with a payroll of less than $1.5 million. Businesses with annual taxable wages between that amount and $1.7 million will pay less payroll tax. There was also further relief for businesses in relation to land tax, savings in relation to water rates and electricity.
Approximately 3,200 businesses will become exempt from payroll tax, a saving of up to $44,550 a year, with around 400 businesses expected to receive a reduction in their payroll tax liabilities.
There are however some taxes and fees that will see an increase as well as some changes.
- South Australians will face a one-off increase to fees and charges, including car registration and traffic fines
- The State Government says that the payroll tax compliance and land tax surcharge will close a loophole, generating approximately $40 million extra per year for the government
- Revenue SA will undertake additional payroll tax compliance work to ensure all taxpayers are complying with payroll tax obligations
$360 million over 4 years has been allocated to a reduction in Emergency Services Levy bills, for more than 650,000 properties.
The government has reduced fixed property ESL bills through the introduction of general fixed property remissions of $90 million per annum from 2018-19.
$184 million over 4 years will got towards improving energy market reliability and make electricity bills more affordable for households and businesses.
CTP premium on average car to be cut by up to $114 a year.
Road safety and infrastructure upgrades
$1.1 billion will be provided over eight years for regional road projects and transport infrastructure upgrades. This is good news for regional MTA members, many of whom will see road upgrades and increased road safety measures.
$834 million will be allocated to road safety in metropolitan and regional areas, representing an area that the MTA and members will be able to continue having an input into in various ways.
The MTA will continue to work with the State Government to make the most of the announced budget allocations in order to advance the automotive industry’s priorities.