SACOSS has welcomed a number of initiatives in the budget, including:
- The Cost of Living concession announced by the state government several weeks ago, which will take the place of the Council Rates concession
- Abolition of River Murray Levy, meaning a $40 per year saving to households
- Tax measures that directly benefit business across SA, and should promote some of the economic growth the state needs
- Investment in early intervention and support for vulnerable and at-risk children, with expansion of the existing Positive Parent Program, providing additional training and support to increase parenting capacity for families at risk
- An increase in the number of foster carers (investment of $4.4m over 4 years) to improve outcomes for children by placing them in home-based foster care rather than emergency or other care accommodation
- $45m of fast-tracked funding and $20m in new funding for refurbishment of Housing Trust properties, which will provide an economic stimulus in areas struggling with jobs growth and improve the living conditions for those in Housing Trust properties
- Measures to simplify tax arrangements in South Australia
However, we are concerned over some issues in the budget:
- While some of the tax reforms announced are welcomed, South Australia is in a position where its tax base is being eroded
- Much of the GST windfall in this year’s Budget has gone to providing a tax break for business through the phased abolition of stamp duty payments. While this may prove a useful short-term economic stimulus, it does not detract from the need for broader reform of the tax base
SACOSS urgently calls on the state government to commit to extended conversations for reform of SA’s tax system.
The Budget also highlights the heavy reliance South Australia has on the federal budget. For the South Australian economy to be given the boost that it needs, we need the federal government to play well with our state government, and to ensure that are major injections of funding come to this jurisdiction in order to drive the jobs growth we we require.
Much like tonight’s football match, state budgets are a game of hope really, aren’t they…
SACOSS’ full budget analysis will be available on the SACOSS website sometime (possibly a long time) after the final siren at Adelaide Oval tonight.