More houses and grants in NSW Budget


Budget delivered: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced a surplus of $4.5 billion. "We run surpluses to make NSW the best place to live, work and to raise a family".

The treasurer is set to announce an expected surplus of $4.5 billionwhen he delivers his first budget today.

"It's all systems go, with in excess of $130 million to be spent on projects".

They say that net debt, now below zero at -$7.8 billion, is set to rise to $18.6 billion by 2021, as the government borrows to fund its infrastructure program.

This adds to $632 million for Campbelltown Hospital, $534 million for Tweed Hospital and $576 million for Nepean Hospital and $341 million for Concord Hospital in the budget that has been previously announced.

$65 million super-school to be built in Armidale: Duval and Armidale High Schools will be demolished and replaced with brand new, state-of-the-art high school for 1500 students.

INSULT: Port Stephens MP says the Hunter has missed out at the expense of Sydney.

Announcing the budget pledge on Tuesday, NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said funding would help safeguard water supplies in rural communities. "It's all going to Sydney".

"The rest of the states [are] struggling with their finance and debt levels".

But despite the rosy economic picture painted by a $4.5 billion surplus and negative net debt, Mr Perrottet acknowledged there's hard days ahead for the government.

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In the state's north, the infrastructure splurge means more spending on roads, including a share of the $1.2 billion for the Pacific Hwy upgrade for works between Woolgoolga to Ballina, and $266 million for upgrades between the Oxley Hwy and Kundabung and between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads.

"Our reform agenda has been a game changer for NSW", Mr Perrottet said as he handed down his first budget.

While former federal treasury head Dr Ken Henry once described state property transfer taxes as a distorting influence on the efficient use of land, NSW and other mainland states have become addicted to it.

However, the revenue side of the budget has taken a hit due to NSW's share of the GST continuing to fall.

But the government is also predicting that stamp duties will "moderate" over the forward estimates, while debt will increase from where it now sits - at negative $7.8 billion - to $18.6 billion by 2021 as the government borrows to fund its infrastructure program.

The government will increase the budget cuts imposed on government departments from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent for three years from 2018-19, and will also keep the 2.5 per cent cap on public servant wage increases and procurement savings.

While welcoming the state budget's bias to local first home buyers, property affordability analysts say low interest rates and relentless demand pressure from population growth will continue to drive Sydney's sky high property prices.

"Service NSW has dramatically changed the way that people interact with government, offering a new customer first approach".

According to the NSW government, in 2016, more than 18,000 businesses received assistance through advocacy and dispute resolution services, allowing approximately 90 percent of businesses to settle disputes outside of the courtroom and saving them thousands of dollars in legal fees.