Property investors, small business owners and construction companies are the winners in this year’s State budget, while public servants, consultants and mining companies will be worse off.
- Property investors: More than 50,000 investors will share in $96 million in land tax cuts as the government reduces the rate of land tax from 3.7 per cent to 2.9 per cent from July 1, 2020 for properties valued between $1.2 million and $5 million. A tax-free threshold for all investment properties will also rise from $369,000to $450,000.
- Small business operators: Small businesses with annual taxable payrolls below $1.5 million will be exempt from payroll tax from January 1, 2019, with combined savings of around $157 million for around 3,200 businesses.
- Households: About 650,000 home owners will benefit from reductions In the Emergency Services Levy which is a tax paid on a sliding scale depending on a home’s value. Total annual savings for households are a combined $90 million for 2018-19 and represent an average saving of$145 for a house with a median value.
- Construction companies: An extra $576 million is going into infrastructure spending in 2018-19 compared with 2017-18 on projects including the electrification of the Gawler railway line and $200million for a new bridge in Port Augusta.
- Households wanting energy storage batteries: $100 million in grants will be made to 40,000 homes across the state as part of a home battery storage scheme over the next four years.
- Budding Apprentices: An extra 20,800 apprentice and trainee positions will be created through subsidised training and support services to enable a build-up in the skills base for big defence projects.
- Public sector workers: $170 million has been set aside for redundancy packages for public servants in 2018-19 as part of a goal to cut total FTE numbers by 4,013. That reduction figure includes 1,700 people which the government hopes will transfer from the government books to non-government organisations who have taken over some service provision.
- Consultants and Contractors: SA Treasurer Rob Lucas has begun a big crackdown on the use of consultants and contractors in government after what he says was a big increase by the former Labor Government of Jay Weatherill.
- Automotive Components Companies: Funding to automotive components makers under a state government program called the Automotive Suppliers Diversification Program is one of 34 different funds and programs being cut by the SA Government. It was put in place in the lead up to The Holden factory closing.
- Hotel and bar owners: A range of liquor licensing fees are increasing at different scales depending on the geographic location and the type of hospitality venue operated. Fees will rise by between $400 to $800for the most common type of hotel licence.
- Mining companies: The SA Government has scrapped a 60 per cent concession on mining royalties for new mines from July 1, 2020. It previously applied for the first five years of a mine’s operation.
- TAFE Students: Seven TAFE campuses will be shut down – four in the Adelaide metropolitan area and three in rural areas.
The SA Government is forecasting a small surplus of $48 million for2018-19, rising to a surplus of $105 million in 2019-20.
But it said the actual budget result for 2017-18 was a deficit of $397 million, a worsening of the projected $12 million in surplus forecast by the previous Labor Government headed by Premier Jay Weatherill just three months before the March 2018 state election.
Jobs growth is projected to be 1.5 per cent for 2018-19 while the state’s economy is forecast to grow at 2.25 per cent in 2018-19, well below the national forecast for Australia of GDP growth of 3.0 percent.