Treasurer Matt Kean warns global headwinds, house price dip will hit state economy

“And I think that’s what we’re seeing with China and the US, particularly China – it’s causing massive capacity constraints in the market driving up supply chain costs, and that’s really flowing through to our infrastructure pipeline.”

However, Kean insisted that, despite ongoing financial pressures facing NSW, he would deliver a “reform budget” with a focus on women and the cost of living, particularly housing affordability.

Matt Kean says his first budget will have a focus on women and the cost of living.

Matt Kean says his first budget will have a focus on women and the cost of living.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“There is definitely pressure on the budget in the short term,” Kean said. “But over the longer term we want to make sure that our financial position remains strong and sustainable, and you’ll see that in the budget.”

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Kean said the NSW government had spent an extra $47 billion “to keep us safe and get us through”. The crisis has pushed the budget deep into the red and reshaped the government’s financial strategy.

“The tail of COVID is still washing through the economy,” he said.

Kean has emphasized that his focus in this budget was increasing women’s participation, which includes a $5 billion investment over the next decade in childcare in NSW.

“Over the longer term we want to make sure that our financial position remains strong and sustainable, and you’ll see that in the budget”

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean

NSW will for the first time intervention in childcare, which has always been the domain of the federal government. As part of the budget, Kean will also release the recommendations from the specially agreed women’s economic review panel.

One of the recommendations from the panel, which was chaired by Chief Executive Women President Sam Mostyn, is protecting women from sexual harassment in the workplace.

On the back of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ review, which found 33 percent of people working in Commonwealth parliamentary offices had experienced sexual harassment at work, the government will fund a $4.8 million Respect at Work Taskforce to guide businesses on how to keep women safe at work.

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“Sexual harassment has no place in our society. It is unacceptable, and it also holds women back from realizing their career hopes and aspirations,” Kean said.

The budget will also include Premier Dominic Perrottet’s long-touted reforms to stamp duty, which will see the option of opting into a broad-based land tax, most likely limited to first-home buyers.

Kean said now was not the time for austerity and NSW Labor estimates show the spending announcements in the lead-up to the budget will be close to $30 billion.

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