BUDGET: Big business to help fund Victoria’s mental health reform
Big business will be forced to pay for a new mental health levy as Victoria recovers from the pandemic.
Tim Pallas unveiled the Victorian Government’s budget on Thursday.
Victoria’s deficit is better than expected at last year’s budget, lifting by almost $2 billion but still $11.6 billion in the red.
A new mental health levy for businesses with wages of more than $10 million will rake in an extra $3.8 billion, coming as part of a 13 per cent hike in taxes.
The new revenue stream will help pay for mental health reform.
“It will affect less than five per cent of employers,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) May 20, 2021
Melbourne’s CBD will receive a $107 million boost to pay for voucher schemes and stamp duty concessions.
The government will also tax “top-end” property owners who the government says have benefitted from “soaring” real estate prices.
Tourists and international students aren’t expected to start returning until early next year and will very much depend on the vaccine rollout.
But the state’s economy is expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as September.
An extra $238 million will be raised through fees and fines.
It’s hoped it will help offset big budget blowouts on more than 100 projects across the state cost another $3.8 billion.
More than a million of that will come from the Metro tunnel project.
There’s still no business case for the Airport Rail link.
Debt will rise to $77.5 billion this year, climbing to a record high $156 billion by 2025.