The NSW budget for 2022-23 delivers enormous gains for women, first home buyers, parents, health, education and transport. Foreign investors and key infrastructure projects are among the losers.

The budget will spend $115 billion across the state in 2022-23, but its revenue is forecast to generate only $104 billion which will result in a hefty budget deficit of $11 billion. In 2021-22, the state’s debt was $53.5 billion or 8% of Gross State Product (GSP) which is forecast to reach $114.8 billion or 14% of GSP in 2025-26.

The major measures of the budget are as follows:

Stamp Duty Relief

The first home buyers may choose to opt out of stamp duty by paying an annual levy of $400 plus 0.3% of the land value of the property from 16 January 2023.

School and Pre-school Children

Parents will receive a $150 “back to school” bonus for every child in primary and high school to help pay for their school supplies. Parents of pre-schoolers attending long day care centres will receive up to $2,000 per child aged four and five. In addition, there is up to $4,000 a year in fee relief for children aged three to five at community or mobile pre-schools funded by the NSW Department of Education.

Pre-kindy Children

Four-year-olds will receive an extra year of education as a pre-kindergarten year of play-based learning, costing $5.8 billion over 10 years. A pilot program will commence in 2023 and the full scale rollout is expected in 2030.

Private Childcare operators

The budget has allocated $5 billion over 10 years for private childcare providers to expand or build new centres. This will create 47,000 new places for childcare in the state.

Health

There is an allocation of $1.8 billion over 4 years for 1,850 extra paramedics and 30 new ambulance stations. There will be a recruitment of over 10,000 doctors, nurses and other staff for health services, costing the budget $4.5 billion over 4 years.

The state will spend $883 million to attract and retain health workers in rural and remote areas of NSW. Over $740 million is allocated to improve palliative care in the state.

An allocation of $408 million is made to fast-track elective surgeries delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic.  Healthcare workers across the state will receive a $3,000 “thank you” payment for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education

NSW public schools will benefit from a $1.6 billion school building fund. Over $478 million is allocated to 9 public schools in the south-west of Sydney to help the areas worst hit by the last year’s Covid-19 lockdowns.

Programs for Women

The budget allocated $4.9 billion over 4 years to increase workforce participation, improve safety, support woman in small business and also health commitments for affordable fertility treatments and menopause hubs.

Shared Equity Scheme for Affordable Housing

The NSW budget will contribute an equity share up to 40% for a new property or up to 30% for an existing property under $950,000 in Sydney and other major regional centres. This scheme will ameliorate mortgage stress for all Australians. This measure will provide 3,000 places/houses at a cost of $740 million over 2 years.

Law and Order

The NSW police force will, over 4 years, receive $5.5 billion including $430 million for new and upgraded stations and facilities.

Other Budget Measures

The State Emergency Service will receive over $132 million for infrastructure, resources and staffing, including an Incident Control Centre in Lismore.

An allocation of $218 million was made for the state’s fleet of 8,000 buses to go green and reduce emissions by 78% over 4 years.

NSW drivers who spend over $1400 on tolls per year will save up to $750 a year. This measure will cost the budget an amount of $520 million over two years and replace the registration relief program from 2023.

The budget allocated $25 million to permanently place the Aboriginal flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The residential land tax for wealthy foreign investors will increase from 2% to 4%, raising $300 million over 4 years.

The budget closed a tax loophole in wagering laws to bring the tax rates of online and track betting into line, increasing both taxes to 15%. This reform is expected to raise $739 million over four years.