The NSW and Queensland Governments handed down their state budgets yesterday, which included billions of dollars’ worth of cost of living relief for families and businesses.
NSW in particular delivered a strong budget for women, with up to $5 billion to be invested in childcare, along with other measures to boost workforce participation and support for women in small businesses.
Whilst the NSW budget remains in deficit for a further two years, Queensland is back in the black and is focussing their investments on health and infrastructure. There’s payroll tax relief, which will assist small businesses, however we would have liked to see greater measures to help ease some of the acute labour and skills shortages. There’s also a new levy to be imposed on large businesses in Queensland to help fund mental health services. While we support greater investment in mental health, we are disappointed by the way it’s being paid for – effectively through a new tax on business.
Consumer spending remained upbeat in May, according to the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse, with sales up 7.8% compared to the same time last year. Whilst it’s pleasing to see sales continuing their positive trajectory, we’re now entering a challenging economic environment with rising interest rates and the cost of living taking a toll on household budgets, which could impact discretionary spending in the coming months.
Businesses are continuing to face some extreme cost pressures in their supply chains and rents, while the increase to the minimum wage and superannuation rate guarantee will also hit from July 1, compounding the current challenges.
Our membership team is on hand to assist in any way they can and can be contacted via email or on 1300 368 041.