Cost of living is expected to be “front and centre” of this week’s NSW budget, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet planning to mix the state’s record infrastructure spend with tax cuts and concessions.
Having already revealed a cut to payroll tax for NSW businesses, Mr Perrottet says the last budget before the 2019 election will attempt to address rising living costs.
“Infrastructure is always there and continuing, at the same time… cost of living is front and centre,” Mr Perrottet told AAP ahead of Tuesday’s budget.
“In the last two budgets we’ve substantially cut tax, business taxes and stamp duty taxes, and that will continue.”
The government will lift the payroll tax threshold from $750,000 to $1 million by 2021/22, returning a projected $881 million to NSW businesses.
Mr Perrottet has also promised to cut 10 of the most common parking fines by 25 per cent, as well as setting aside $157 million for a package to reduce the initial costs faced by new parents.
Despite bracing for a hit to stamp-duty revenue – caused by a cooling housing market paired with a recent crackdown on foreign investors – Mr Perrottet has no intention to alter first-home buyer concessions.
“The increase in first-home buyers is significant and if that means the budget of NSW loses some revenue as a result of young people getting the keys to their first home, then that’s a great thing,” he said.
“That’s why we run a surplus.”
Stamp-duty revenue represents around nine per cent of government revenue.
Aside from cost-of-living measures, Mr Perrottet said health and education would feature heavily in the budget, including $1 billion on recruiting more doctors and allied health workers.
“We want to have the highest quality health care and the best education system in the country and they’re always … the foundations of a good budget,” he said.
The government will also make a multi-billion dollar commitment to the state’s police over the next four years, including $118 million set aside to build six new police stations.
A further $3 billion will go to building the first section of the F6 extension, continuing the state’s $80 billion-plus infrastructure spend.
Meanwhile, Mr Perrottet has announced a $285 million plan to fund 100,000 apprenticeships over the next four years.
There’s also cash for 900 new full-time science and maths teachers in public schools in areas of population growth, including Sydney’s west.
AAP understands regional tourism is also expected to receive a funding boost.