Today the Treasurer, the Hon Dr Mike Nahan MLA released the 2016-17 State Budget.
The theme was the transitioning of the Western Australian economy from an investment into production phase.
At a time when WA’s state revenue sources were the hardest hit across all Australian governments, and the revenue base is falling by $14.7 billion, Dr Nahan outlined the Barnett Governments plan to broaden the WA economy, create jobs and regain the AAA credit rating through asset sales and expenditure restraint.
The Barnett Government heard the appeal by REIWA to not meddle with state property taxes and to keep the policy levers in place to encourage first home buyers in the WA property market. The First Home Buyer stamp duty exemption remains at $430,000 and so does the $10,000 grant for new house and land.
Property taxes remained UNCHANGED. This will be relief to those hardest hit by the last three years of increases to land tax.
In the Treasurer’s speech today he committed to examining options to reduce the financial impact of land tax including the impact of aggregation.
There was no movement by the Barnett Government to address transfer duty relief for off-the-plan transactions or for seniors downsizing, and there was no change to the way land tax is aggregated, even though these issues formed part of our pre-budget submission to Government.
So, the fight is not over. REIWA will continue to push and advocate for changes to land tax aggregation, transfer duty relief for seniors and off-the-plan transactions and appeal to the Barnett Government to commit to a State tax review to find more sustainable ways to fund essential services for the WA community.
Key priorities in the Budget include:
- Initiatives to support industries that will underpin the State’s future such as, tourism, agriculture innovation and start-ups and aquaculture.
- Efficient delivery of services with $266 million for hospital services, $81 million on recurrent spending for education and $67 million to police, $15 million methamphetamine strategy and extension of Agency Expenditure Reviews.
- Supporting and protecting the WA community with additional funding for NDIS ($26 million), $147 million towards meeting prisoner growth, $13 million to Mental Health Court Diversion program, $9 million for Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund.
- Investing in infrastructure to continue to meet the growing needs of WA. $7.7 billion over four years on transport infrastructure, $1 billion on school infrastructure, $378 million for New Museum and $1.2 billion on Perth Children’s Hospital.
- Sale of Western Power and transmission assets owned by Horizon Energy.
State fiscal position
Key economic indicators
This article was originally published by REIWA.com on 12th May 2016.