NSW Budget Released

The SMH has just put up a summary of the NSW Budget:
Port Kembla will be privatised, speeding fines will be increased and the equivalent of 10,000 public sector jobs will be cut by the NSW government to help bring the state budget back to surplus from a forecast deficit of more than $800 million next financial year.

The Treasurer, Mike Baird, has also today announced major changes to stamp duty and other property concessions designed to boost the purchase of newly constructed homes in NSW alongside measures to fast-track the approval of major housing developments.
However, as part of the package the $7000 First Home Owners Grant for existing properties will be cut from October 1.

As well, more than $3 billion has been earmarked towards construction of the North West Rail Link and $30 million will be set aside for planning a new Sydney motorway to be recommended by Infrastructure NSW as part of its 20-year strategy due for release in September.

In a further revenue-raising measure, the government has flagged the sale of the rights to the future revenue stream from NSW lotteries.

Overall, more reforms would have been preferable, and it is disappointing that speed cameras are now being used blatantly as revenue-raising by the government with little or no justification on safety grounds, but the budget seems on the whole to be of benefit to taxpayers.

Stay tuned for a full analysis shortly.

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