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NSW Budget: measures will save money for up to 600,000 small businesses, treasurer says

Budget 2017

More than half a million small businesses stand to benefit from tax cuts included in the 2017-18 NSW Budget, according to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.

In a statement, released yesterday, the Treasurer announced: “From 1 January 2018, the NSW Government will abolish insurance duty for small businesses on commercial vehicle insurance (including aircraft), professional indemnity insurance, and product and public liability insurance. The changes will apply to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.

“The measures announced today will save money for up to 600,000 small businesses, helping them to grow, securing the jobs they create and enabling them to prosper in a more competitive economy.”

Perrottet also advised that form the start of next year, farmers will no longer have to pay duties on crop and livestock insurance

“These tax reductions are expected to save farmers and NSW small businesses $330m over the next four years,” he said.

Other budgetary measures with implications for small businesses include $96 million worth of support for high potential businesses through Jobs for NSW plus $30.5 million for business advisory services to help reduce red tape and drive innovation

Trent Innes, managing director of cloud accounting company Xero Australia said the NSW Budget shows NSW government “has listened to small businesses and the issues they care about, and is acting on them”. He continued, “The average business owner currently still spends 11 hours a week complying with government rules and regulations, so it’s encouraging to see that small businesses in NSW will have some relief from restrictive bureaucracy. The time lost in bureaucracy can now be spent innovating and growing”.

Dean McEvoy, co-founder and CEO TechSydney –­ an entrepreneur-led advocacy group – said the unprecedented $4.5 billion budget surplus was an opportunity to reinvest in areas that will grow the economy; however, he said he was “disappointed there’s not more on the table for tech innovation”.

He continued, “We are… keen to see a greater commitment to innovation from the State – at the Premier’s level down. We need a clearly articulated innovation strategy and a plan as to how NSW plans to compete in this area. We would like to see startups considered in the rollout of infrastructure spending around [NSW] –  in particular with the investment into health and energy we must consider opportunities for innovative tech startups in this space.

McEvoy said the government’s $536 million investment in NSW digital health infrastructure represents “a good opportunity to begin building a centre of excellence in this field”. He added, “As this infrastructure rolls out, we are keen to see NSW based tech startups have an even playing field to compete for these opportunities”.

McEvoy said the government’s decision to reinvest surplus funds into the education sector must involve “the building of technology skills – from primary through to University”.

“Unless we feed more graduates into the technology pipeline, NSW runs the risk of seeing its growing tech community shift elsewhere,” he said. “We also need to give our NSW students a fighting chance at competing and helping to build the businesses of the future. With economies around the world gearing up for this challenge, our students will need to be deeply grounded in technology skills to be able to compete in this area.”

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