CCIWA Chief Economist
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) welcomes the 2022-23 State Budget.
The Budget delivers a critical quinella: significant improvements in the state’s net debt position, while including some solid reform measures directly called for by CCIWA.
This financial year state net debt will fall below $30 billion for the first time since 2015. While underpinned primarily by record commodity prices, the fiscal outlook is also bolstered by the State Government holding a firm line on its wages policy and GST grants. In the absence of GST reform, WA’s relativity would have fallen to 1% of our population share in 2023-24.
On the reform front, some of the critical initiatives that CCIWA has called for include a boost to the Digital Capability Fund, more overseas trade and investment offices, and some small, but nonetheless important reforms to the State’s taxation arrangements.
- The Digital Capability Fund will increase by $400m. This is important to drive efficiencies in government service delivery. CCIWA calls on the Government to ensure some of this money is used to improve the interface between government and business, such as through more streamlined licensing processes.
- The Government will now establish four more overseas trade offices, including in Frankfurt. This is critical to attract investment in areas like hydrogen. CCIWA calls on the government to go further and establish a trade and investment office in the United States to ensure we can bolster investment flows from our No.1 investment partner.
- On tax, more businesses will now be able to pay payroll tax quarterly rather than monthly, reducing administration and providing cashflow benefits.
While these are welcome measures called for from CCIWA, there are bigger reform opportunities still on the table, including a more competitive payroll tax system. It is still the case that once a WA business gets to around 20-25 workers, it faces the highest payroll tax in the country.
All up, the State Government has made good decisions as part of this budget. CCIWA commends them for the decisions made, and looks forward to further cooperation to drive more reform opportunities