WA business congratulates the Federal Government for budgeting a $7.1 billion surplus in 2019-20, which would be the first surplus in 12 years, and outlining a plan to pay off net debt within a decade – the key to unlocking further investment in infrastructure, hospitals and schools and boosting job creation.

This budget will help boost economic recovery in WA. Personal income tax relief, including doubling the tax offset to $1,080 for low and middle-income earners, increasing the top threshold of the 19 per cent tax bracket to $45,000 and cutting the 32.5 per cent tax bracket to 30 per cent by 2024 will be welcome news to West Australians, who according to CCI’s latest Consumer Confidence Survey continue to cite cost of living pressures as their biggest dampener on confidence.

WA continues to hold the unenviable title of having the second highest unemployment rate (5.9%) and youth unemployment rate (15.2%) in the country. To kickstart employment, businesses must feel confident to invest and consumers must feel confident to spend their discretionary income.

Targeted tax relief for small businesses and low and middle-income earners will boost spending in the WA economy, assist employment growth and help ease cost of living pressures for households. This will also go a long way toward supporting WA retailers who have been struggling from weak consumer demand, with retail trade in WA remaining flat for the past three years.

Four out of five WA jobs are created by business, which means making it easier for small businesses in particular to create jobs is critical. WA business welcomes today’s confirmation that the instant asset write-off will be increased to $30,000 for businesses with an annual turnover of up to $50 million. This will provide businesses with more funds to innovate, invest back into their businesses, grow their operations and create more employment opportunities for workers.

WA will receive a $1.2 billion GST top-up this year to raise our GST share to 70 cents – about $400 million more than expected at the time of the Federal Government’s legislated GST fix.

WA’s $1.6 billion infrastructure package will provide a much-needed boost to WA’s economy. Ensuring that WA’s roads and rail are meeting the State’s increasing traffic demands doesn’t just benefit West Australians travelling to and from work, it is critical to business productivity which supports economic growth.

It is vital that employers are supported to upskill and retrain their workforce to stay at the cutting edge. The Government’s $525 million investment over five years to boost apprenticeships and its establishment of a National Skills Commission will go a long way toward arresting the 38.8 per cent decline in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in WA since 2014.

For WA’s economy to fire on all cylinders once again, it is critical that business is supported to invest and create jobs, while boosting consumers’ confidence in the country’s economic outlook. Today’s Budget will go a long way toward achieving this.