NSW economy hits rock bottom

NSW’s economy has been ranked the worst performing in the country, and that does not surprise State Ballina MP Don Page.

As the shadow small business minister, Mr Page said the State Labor Government had failed to implement useful strategies, such asreducing payroll tax and halving the waiting time for major infrastructure development approvals.

“NSW has the lowest growth, highest unemployment and lowest level of new dwellings across Australia,” he said.

The latest State of the States report, published by CommSec yesterday, ranks NSW last in key economic indicators such as home building starts, construction work, unemployment and economic growth.

Mr Page said Far North Coast businesses were severely affected by the differences in taxation between NSW and Queensland.

“It’s very pronounced in our area,” he said. “Many small businesses either operate in both states or compete with Queensland businesses. Far North Coast businesses know they are not competitive.

“I know one Ballina employer who pays over $1 million in wages. He employs staff in NSW and Queensland.

“In NSW he pays $70,900 of histotal wages bill in workers’ compensation premiums. But in Queensland, on the same wages bill, he pays just $29,900. It’s a huge difference.”

But NSW Acting Treasurer John Hatzistergos said the CommSec report only compared NSW with its own performance over the last 10 years, instead of a direct comparison to other states.

He said the State’s economy was forecast to grow by 1.5pc in 2009/10.

“Business confidence is up, employment is up, residential housing approvals are up and retail sales are strong with investment pouring into NSW,” he said.

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