Victorian budget a risk to recovery

Original article by Rachel Baxendale, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 21-May-21

The Victorian government’s May 2021 Budget shows that the state’s net debt will blow out to $156.3bn by mid-2025. However, the government has confirmed that the state’s deficit for 2020-21 will be much lower than previously forecast, at $17.4bn. The key measure announced in the Budget is a payroll tax surcharge of 0.5 per cent on businesses with a wages bill of more than $10m; this will rise to one per cent for businesses with wages costs of more than $100m. The surcharge is slated to raise $387m in 2021-22 and about $3bn over four years, with the proceeds to be used to finance a $3.8bn mental health package. The levy has been criticised by business leaders and federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who warn that it will cost jobs and undermine the national economy’s recovery from the pandemic.

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