NSW gets second stimulus package

Jodie Stephens
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced more measures aimed at keeping businesses afloat

NSW business and charity groups have welcomed the state government's latest stimulus measures aimed at keeping businesses afloat and supporting the vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Friday announced a second round of initiatives including an additional $750 million to sustain businesses and retrain retrenched employees.

Payroll tax will be deferred for six months for businesses with payrolls over $10 million.

This follows businesses with smaller payrolls receiving a three-month waiver of payroll tax in the first stimulus package.

The state government will also defer gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels and lotteries tax for six months, on the condition those funds are used to retain staff.

Rent will be deferred for six months for commercial tenants in all government-owned properties with fewer than 20 employees.

"Our expectation is that any relief provided by the NSW government will be used to contribute to help businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs," Mr Perrottet said in a statement on Friday.

"It's vital we keep people employed and ensure we have the ability to rebound when things improve."

Not all reactions to the announcement were positive, with NSW Labor labelling the latest package "deeply disappointing and seriously inadequate".

Shadow treasurer Walt Secord said it cut some gaming taxes and tinkered with commercial rent and debt obligations but did little to help workers who had found themselves suddenly unemployed.

ClubsNSW said the tax deferrals would help the state's 1200 registered clubs guarantee staff entitlements during the crisis.

"These measures are all about keeping people in work in the longer term," ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis said in a statement.

"They will help clubs guarantee entitlements for the 43,000 people directly employed by the industry and will also help clubs recover so that these jobs remain for club workers, and their families, when trading is allowed to resume."

Business NSW also welcomed further payroll tax referrals, saying any assistance "might just make the difference in saving a job".

But chief executive Stephen Cartwright said they also wanted assistance for hundreds of thousands of businesses that did not pay payroll tax, such as sole traders and mum-and-dad businesses with a couple of staff.

"The premier, deputy premier and the treasurer have shown their support for NSW businesses to date, and it's natural that large employing businesses receive some relief, but this pandemic is hitting every single part of the economy, and the vast bulk of businesses in NSW are actually small businesses," he said in a statement.

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW and Lifeline welcomed measures aimed at supporting people in need, with the stimulus package including $34 million to prevent homelessness, $10 million for charities and $6 million for Lifeline.

"It is a relief to see recognition of the vital role homelessness services will play in the months ahead, as the level of need escalates," Vinnies NSW chief executive Jack de Groot said in a statement.

"It's incumbent upon governments to ensure everyone who currently has a safe place to live can keep their homes."