Australia - New South Wales presents the budget bill for 2017-2018
The Minister of the Treasury and former Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, Dominic Perrottet, submitted to Parliament the budget bill for New South Wales for the 2017-2018 two-year period.
Leveraging on a budget surplus of up to 4.5 billion dollars, the budget bill provides for the allocation of sizable resources for the construction of new schools and hospitals and renewed financial support to the impressive infrastructure development and upgrading plan launched in New South Wales in the last few years.
The budget provides for the allocation of 2.2 billion dollars over the next five years for the new construction or refurbishing of 123 primary and secondary schools, which will benefit 32,000 students. The sum of these resources added to those allocated last year will make up public investments of 4.2 billion dollars in school facilities over the upcoming 4-year period.
Almost 3 billion dollars will be earmarked for upgrading hospital facilities within a comprehensive plan aimed at bolstering health care services throughout the State, also envisaging the creation of 4,500 new jobs for health care workers.
Among the socio-economic support measures, the budget addresses the housing emergency and the rising cost of dwellings by eliminating the stamp duty for those purchasing their first home worth a maximum of 650,000 dollars and progressive tax cuts for the purchase of real estate property worth more than that. Additional resources are allocated to finance the construction of 75,000 new homes over the next two-year period. These measures will be partially financed through a tax squeeze on real estate property purchased by foreign investors.
The budget also confirms the commitments for expenditure of 73 billion dollars over the next four years already made for upgrading infrastructures, 11 billion of which will be invested this year to finance the second construction phase of the 30- km metro line that will connect the suburbs north of Sydney with the city centre and with the city’s western districts. Three billion will be allocated this year to Westconnex, a project to extend the M4 Motorway worth a total of 16.8 billion dollars and the first section of which will be completed next month.