Yesterday saw Treasurer Mike Nahan hand down the 2015 WA State Budget which proved to be a “budget for tough times”. With the plunging iron ore price and WA losing its share of GST and the state’s soaring debt, the government plans to sell of $5 billion in assets to balance their books.
By selling off several key assets, the government hopes to inject between $3 billion and $5 billion into the state’s reserves by the time the next budget is handed down. In addition to the government asset sell-offs, other notable points from yesterdays budget are listed below.
- Families will see a rise in utilities prices to the tune of almost $200 a year.
- Motorists will have to pay an extra $99 a year for no injury insurance to help grow the government’s Compulsory Third Party scheme.
- Whilst the $10,000 grant for first home buyers buying new homes remains, the $3000 grant for those first home buyers who purchase existing homes has been canned.
- A revised land tax scale from 2015-16, to bring Western Australia more in line with other States.
- $499 million in additional Commonwealth funding for key road projects, in recognition of the unfair GST distribution.
- $24.1 billion infrastructure program over the next four years, including $6.3 billion in 2015-16, will support jobs and growth across the State.
- Health will see an injection of $8.1 billion, with $50 million allocated to Aboriginal health.
- Strong focus on mental health initiatives, including $26 million for new suicide prevention strategy.
- The Royalty for Regions initiative will receive another large hand out, with $1 billion budgeted over 4 years.
The Barnett government say they are determined to return the budget to surplus by looking into reforms within the public sector and thereby minimising impact on small businesses and families.
If you have any questions about yesterdays state budget, and how it might affect you, please contact your chosen financial professional.