NSW Labor today outlined a positive plan to help New South Wales avoid an economic crisis after almost four months of lockdowns and restrictions from COVID-19.
People across our state – Sydney, the Illawarra, the Hunter, Central Coast, Northern NSW and the South Coast have done it incredibly tough.
West and South West Sydney have had the harshest lockdown of any place in Australia at any time during the pandemic – job ads are down over 60 per cent, businesses have suffered losses in trade of up to 70 per cent.
209,706 people lost jobs in New South Wales due to this current outbreak.
HSC students in restricted LGAs were forced to struggle through learning from home, while in other areas students have the option to access some face to face learning.
It’s not a case of lockdown ends and life goes back to normal. For thousands of workers and businesses, lives will be forever changed.
There will need to be a comprehensive support package to get people back in jobs, businesses thriving, students in classrooms and the economy going again.
Labor is calling on the NSW Government to implement four sensible measures to do that:
Extend COVID economic support
The people of the West and the South West of Sydney hard the harshest lockdown of any place in Australia at any time during the pandemic.
We’re calling for the Government to extend COVID economic support – the jobs crisis is not over.
The Federal and State Government decided to withdraw support before businesses have had the fair chance to recover from forced closures and restrictions.
Business is relying on ongoing support to cover accrued debts and to support cashflow during reopening.
Extend the payroll tax concession
We supported the Government cutting the benchmark tax rate from 5.45 per cent to 4.85 per cent for all payroll tax-paying businesses this financial year and last financial year – it was the right thing to do.
But from 1 July 2022 the rate will revert back to 5.45 per cent – it’s too much too soon.
The Government should extend this payroll tax rate reduction for another year at least, to help with recovery and support business.
Super charge jobs with a big build on schools and social housing
It is time for a big build in social housing and schools – bringing back jobs, getting young people into their homes, and our kids learning in classrooms fit for our future.
NSW Labor wants the Government to fast-track their urgent social housing repair and maintenance works – and to bring forward long-planned school building projects.
It’s one of the most practical things a State Government can do to help our people put their lives back together after COVID.
51,395 people were on the social housing waitlist in June 2020; and 1.4 million people were experiencing housing stress in NSW.
Each $1 million investment can generate nine jobs and around $2.9 million of industry output and consumption across the economy.
It’s a plan to rebuild the state’s economy, to bring our city back together, to grow jobs and heal the divide in the town.
Extend schools intensive learning catch-up and school counsellors
The COVID intensive learning program provides small group tuition to help students catch up after disrupted learning in 2020.
The Government should extend the COVID intensive learning program into 2022.
Every teacher, parent, person with common sense can see that this year’s disruption has been far more significant.
And the Government should fast-track additional school counsellors in NSW schools to support children’s mental health.
These are sensible policies that will get the economy going again and help businesses, families and kids back on their feet after a difficult four months.