At a macro level, the 2021/22 South Australian State Budget is – especially considering where we have come from since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. Considering this is effectively an election budget, it was not the most exciting of budgets. Despite a lack of any big new announcements, it delivered as expected – with significant money allocated to construction and infrastructure, health, and COVID-19 hotel quarantine and vaccine rollout.
The steady downwards trend in water and electricity prices provides business a double shot of positivity as it not only reduces their running costs, but also leaves more money in the pockets of their customers. Incentives to take on trainees and apprentices have also been provided to many South Australian business through the extension of the payroll tax exemptions. This a big win – and very much welcomed by Business SA.
There are a few areas where we expected more.
Given South Australia’s global renewable energy leadership, Business SA continues to encourage the State Government to better articulate a strategy to leverage economic growth in the burgeoning low emissions and circular economy sector.
While the most recent results from our Survey of Business Expectations showed remarkable resilience in the South Australian economy – with bounce back figures not seen since before the Global Financial Crisis, there are still a good proportion – around 21 per cent – who are still struggling due to COVID-19 impacts.
We agree with the Government that jobs are paramount in South Australia – especially as our unemployment rate in the nation hovers at or near the top. Business SA believes though, that there are many ways to skin a cat. Ensuring South Australia is a great place to do business and encouraging new ventures to set up shop here is very important – it’s how you build a broad business mix. But we also believe that introducing programs to upskill our existing SME business owners to grow their business and therefore employ more people is a no brainer to solving the unemployment situation.
Read Business SA’s State Budget Summary Here