Spending on infrastructure projects to boost jobs will be the feature of the South Australian budget which will also reveal a big COVID-19 enforced deficit.
Treasurer Rob Lucas will on Tuesday hand down the delayed financial blueprint which has been hit hard by both coronavirus spending and a big shortfall in GST receipts.
The deficit 2020/21 is expected to be around $2 billion or more after forecasts that GST returns will fall by as much as $1.3 billion.
Premier Steven Marshall says this year’s budget will be the most important in the state’s history as his government seeks to plot a course for economic recovery post the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Marshall said South Australia has done extraordinarily well in managing the health crisis and must now deliver in terms of the economic crisis.
“I genuinely think this is the most important budget in the history of South Australia,” the premier said.
“It’s all about creating jobs and backing business. It’s all about building what matters.
“There will be an increase in debt in South Australia, but most importantly there will be a massive increase in employment in our state and that’s what we need at the moment.”
The government has already flagged some initiatives including doubling the coronavirus stimulus package for infrastructure and other projects to $2 billion.
It has also announced the second round of $10,000 cash grants to small businesses, a $35 million spend on community sports facilities and an extra $15 million for mental health support.
But Labor leader Peter Malinauskas said the government must use the budget to freeze taxes and charges.
Australian Associated Press