Opportunities Seen in Budget
By Dougal McGowan, OCCI, Chief Executive | Posted: Thursday June 6, 2019
We all waited with much anticipation for the Governments Wellbeing budget last week. Unfortunately, with the early access to the document much of the real discussion got lost in the surrounding noise.
With the emphasis on “wellbeing”, businesses were having to look hard and deeply into the budget to find the effects or potential benefits to them.
The strong support for rail developments – and in particular the possibility to bid for the building and refurbishment of rail cars at our local facilities – is an opportunity.
Tied into this is the opportunity to see the continuation and boost for Mana in Mahi, with places for up to another 2000 young people in apprenticeships and work. This is essential, given the skills and labour shortages throughout the region and Dunedin.
There is a strong emphasis on research and development that Dunedin has had a strong connection with over the years. Aligned with the new $300 million venture capital fund, it will hopefully encourage businesses to grow and stay in New Zealand longer.
Given the strong start-up focus here in Dunedin, this could again see a growth to the sector.
It was nice to see the support for farmers for cleaning waterways. This will help, but there needs to be considerably more investment to reach targets after getting such a hard time in the media recently.
However, there are still many concerns.
Tax reviews are obviously still being worked through and it would appear future changes to the tax system are obviously yet to be announced or have gone back to the drawing board. Interestingly, though, after all the debate about the costs of petrol, they announced after the Budget a rise in fuel tax, yet again.
Business confidence is still at low levels and it would have been nice to see something in the Budget to get them excited. We often forget that the majority of employment and thus wages, which pays for rent, mortgages and food comes from the small to medium-business sector.
At the moment for many, especially those who are looking to transition their business as they look to lifestyles changes, the easiest option is to just close the door. This is not good for anyone’s wellbeing.