The New South Wales (NSW) Government handed down its State Budget on Tuesday 18 June 2013. Similarly to other State Budgets this year, NSW is facing reduced royalties, GST and duties revenue.

However, unlike the Queensland Government, the NSW Government is planning to continue spending on infrastructure projects with an investment program totalling $59.7 billion over four years.

The government itself described the budget as:

“…[setting] New South Wales apart from governments across the world: it slows expense-growth, accelerates spending on infrastructure, and reduces net debt – an extraordinary trifecta in the light of the challenges we face…”

Need to know

The headline items from the Budget are:

  • A deficit of $329 million in 2013-14, with a return to a surplus of $829 million in 2014-15 and a surplus of $1.5 billion by 2016-17. 
  • Gross State Product (GSP) will rise to 2.75 per cent in 2013-14, compared to the 2.4 per cent in 2011-12. 
  • Net debt of 3.2 per cent of GSP in 2013-14 is set to rise to 3.5 per cent over the forward estimates. 
  • The unemployment rate is expected to increase to 5.5 per cent over 2013-14.

The detail

  • $27.9 billion of capital works for the transport sector over four years to 2016-17, including the WestConnex Motorway, North West Rail Link, and upgrades for the Pacific Highway and Princess Highway.
  • $4 billion in hospital upgrades, redevelopments and expansions over the forward estimates, including the next stage to the redevelopment of Lismore Hospital and the redevelopment of Kempsey Hospital.
  • An additional $2 billion for education over the forward estimates, including $430 million each year for schools and TAFE colleges. A total of $14 billion is to be spent on education in 2013-14. 
  • $585 million to trial the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Hunter Region.
  • The First Home Owner Grant will be extended for a further two years until 1 January 2016. 

The Tax

  • An increase in the payroll tax threshold from $689,000 to $750,000 to begin on 1 July 2013.