Queensland’s budget is back in obscurity amid rising coal prices and a real estate boom, but taxes on major corporations will be raised to maintain profits.
Treasurer Cameron Dick delivered an unexpected $1.49 billion surplus in 2021/22 after forecasting a $1.49 billion deficit six months ago.
He said rising coal royalties and land transfer rights this year had boosted government revenues significantly.
“A lot has changed since I was here to deliver last year’s budget,” he told parliament on Tuesday.
“We’re back in black.”
Coal royalties rose to $7.29 billion in 2021/22; the government expects this to fall significantly as international prices decline over the next four years.
Dick predicts that the budget will be $1 billion in the red by 2022/23 and will remain around that level until there is a small surplus of $137 million in 2024/25.
To make up for that drop, miners will pay a larger share of the tax on coal sold above $175 per tonne from July 1.
Taxes on betting companies will also increase from 15 percent to 20 percent on July 1.
Queensland Pre-Budget Announcements
The payroll tax will also increase by 0.5 percent from January 1, 2023, for companies paying over $100 million in annual wages.
Companies with a wage bill of more than 10 million dollars also see their payroll taxes rise by 0.25 percent.
The payroll tax ceiling for payroll tax deductions will be increased from $6.5 million to $10.4 million, partially offsetting some of the tax increase.
Mr. Dick said the tax changes would only affect the top one percent of companies. About 12,000 companies would receive a tax cut.
He denied breaking an election promise not to introduce or raise taxes.
“We didn’t make that promise to big companies, we didn’t make it to big international online gambling companies headquartered in tax havens, we didn’t make it to multinational coal companies,” Mr. Dick said.
“The promises did not apply to them, so we are imposing these very important revenue measures to support the delivery of health care across Queensland, as annual health care across Queensland.”
At the heart of Mr. Dick’s budget is $5.7 billion in funding over four years to bring an additional 2,509 hospital beds online.
The next fiscal year will also see $120 million in new funding for mental health, addiction, and suicide prevention.
Households get $14.60 monthly from their electricity bills, expected to rise at least as much from July, with a one-time discount living cost saving in 2022/23.
About $11.4 billion will be spent on infrastructure, including Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, the third phase of the Gold Coast Light Rail Line, and upgrades to the M1 Pacific Motorway and Bruce Highway.
Queensland’s annual economic growth is expected to remain at 2.75 percent through 2025/2025.
The state’s unemployment rate is expected to remain stable at 4.25 percent and inflation at 2.5 percent for the next four years.