The Newman Government today, 4 June 2012 brought down its first State Budget.

Need to Know

Against a backdrop of falling State revenues, the Costello Commission of Audit Report and increasing costs including interest to service a ballooning State debt, the headline items from the Budget are:

  • Fiscal deficit in 2012–13 of $10.768bn, and fiscal deficit of $3.752bn in 2013–14 
  • Fiscal surplus of $652 million in 2014-15 
  • Debt to stabilise at $81.7bn instead of $86.3bn in 2014-15 
  • Interest payments over the forward estimates of $1.3bn  
  • GST revenue increases in 2012–13 by $986m to $9.667bn 
  • Economic growth of 4%  
  • Unemployment to fall across the forward estimates

The Good

  • Reinstate the principal place of residence concessional rate of stamp duty 
  • $15,000 First Home Owner Construction Grant for people buying their first home either off the plan or newly constructed  
  • Increase in payroll tax threshold from $1 million to $1.1 million in 2012-13, with further increases of $100,000 each year until it reaches $1.6 million on 1 July 2017  
  • Freeze on car registration fees for more than 2.5 million family vehicles  
  • $200 million over two years to fund up to $160,000 to state school P&C’s to assist in fixing school’s maintenance backlog  
  • Minor stamp duty exemption for junior explorers for “farm-in” arrangements, scope and technical characteristics yet to be designed (but query how much relief will be given if only expected to cost $5 million?)

The Bad

  • If it’s not good, it seems to be ugly…

The Ugly

  • Full time employee losses in the public service will be 14,000. Redundancies will cost $800 million  
  • Royalty rate for coal to raise by a quarter for coal sold above $100/tonne (to 12.5%), and by a half where coal sold above $150/tonne (to 15%) – against falling coal prices expected to raise $1.6bn over 4 years 
  • A 0.5% increase in stamp duty for transfers of properties over $1m