Budget Paper No.1 Speech 2005/2006
Tabled paper 1689
Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Sydney Stirling
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Speech Operating payments are expected to increase by $93 million to $2.56 billion. The Government will continue to improve services in health, education and police, the Governments key priority areas. Our fiscal strategy targets were re-set in 2004 and included deficits from 2005-06. With the Budget returning to balance in 2008-09, the underlying targets remain unchanged. The inclusion of payments for the Darwin Waterfront and Convention Centre increases the deficit for three years, as the community infrastructure and the Darwin Convention Centre are constructed. The Budget will return to balance as planned in 2008-09. Budget Initiatives I turn now to the detail of the Budget initiatives. Budget 2005 delivers less tax, local jobs and better skills. It backs Territorians. Tax Reform, Skills and Business Support As a result of tax changes to business from 1 July 2006, Territory businesses employing up to 100 staff will pay the lowest taxes in Australia. In New South Wales, businesses with 50 staff will pay $72 024 more than their Territory counterparts. In Western Australia, they will pay $28 479 more. Businesses of 100 staff in New South Wales will pay $73 597 more than in the Territory and, in Western Australia they will pay $15 443 more. Budget 2005 includes the Territorys tax reform initiatives in line with the Intergovernmental Agreement. In addition to the removal of debits tax and electronic debits duty, the Territory will remove stamp duty on: leases, franchises and unquoted marketable securities on 1 July 2006 at a saving to businesses of $2 million; hiring arrangements on 1 July 2007 at a saving to business of $5.3 million; and non-real business conveyances on 1 July 2009, at a saving of $5.5 million. Budget 2005 delivers a major boost to training and skilling Territorians. In this Budget incentive grants to small business for trainees increase from $2200 to $3000. There will be 250 grants available. Employers putting on traditional trade apprentices will be eligible for a $7000 grant. The number of these grants will be 150 almost 400 per cent up from the original 40. The Martin Government is also delivering a new Build Skills NT program backing Territorians already in work by upgrading their skills through training. $500 000 will be spent targeting workers in the automotive, building, construction, hospitality and mining industries. These funds will be injected directly into industry and will give them the flexibility to move existing workers through new skill levels. To improve the transition from school to work, the Government will also invest in a new Work Ready NT initiative. $200 000 will fund the Work Ready Pathways program. $4.4 million is included this year for the VET in Schools program. This program is expected to prepare 1100 students for the Territory workforce. In Budget 2005, the Government has lifted funding for VET at Charles Darwin University (CDU) by $1.5 million taking annual VET funding for CDU to $35.2 million. 5