The 2021-22 state Budget delivered on June 15 is focused on working together to create jobs and protect the health of Queenslanders. State Treasurer Mr Cameron Dick also revealed that Queensland’s economy has started recovering from COVID-19 much sooner than expected. With an estimated growth of around 2.75% over the next 12 months, QLD’s economy is also looking stronger than the rest of Australia.
The deficit of $8.6 billion originally forecast for 2020-21 has also been slashed by over half to just $3.8 billion. This is due to the better-than-expected economic growth over the past 12 months of 3.25% as well as the tax revenue from $60.4 billion in property sales. The Treasurer also stated the deficit will be progressively reduced until there’s a paper-thin surplus of around $153 million in the 2024-25 financial year.
While this year’s State Budget had no new taxes or tax increases for Queenslanders, transfer duty is anticipated to be over 21.0% higher than 2019-20. In fact, the total in government coffers is forecast to increase by around 9.4% this year thanks to recovering business conditions.
The $3.3 billion announced for the Queensland Jobs Fund will include $320 million for providing up-skilling, training, and qualifications for 15,000 disadvantaged workers a year over the next 4 years. The budget also allocated up to $140 million to help eligible companies hire more staff, as well as $100 million for small to medium-sized businesses to restructure and innovate.
The State Budget allocated a record investment in Queensland Health of $22.2 billion. Unsurprisingly, there’s $480 million devoted to the ongoing response to the pandemic, which covers COVID testing, contact tracing, fever clinics, vaccination rollout, and the quarantine program. Also included was $2 billion over the next four years for a hospital building fund to address shortfalls in bed availability as Queensland’s population continues to rise.
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