New Business Tax Funding $ 3.8 Billion Mental Health Reform: Victorian Budget


Victoria-based businesses will be charged a new surcharge to rebuild the state’s “broken” mental health system in accordance with the state’s newly announced 2021-22 budget.

On Thursday, treasurer Tim Pallas revealed the state of Victoria’s economy, which is expected to reach $ 102.1 billion in net debt this year and increase to $ 156.3 billion in 2024-25.

The state has responded with a series of new taxes to balance books and new initiatives targeting the health, education, and transportation sectors.

The newly announced mental health and well-being tax collection will fund the state’s $ 3.8 billion mental health system reform.

Companies with revenues in excess of $ 10 million are obliged to pay a levy. Therefore, for every wage in excess of $ 10 million, the company pays the state an additional 0.5%.

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Victorian Treasury Secretary Tim Pallas will give a budget speech at the Victorian Parliamentary Legislative Assembly on May 20, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (AAP image / James Ross)

For companies with salaries over $ 100 million, the extra charge increases to 1% per dollar.

Pallas predicts that 5% of employers will be affected, and that this measure will raise $ 900 million annually by 2024-25, for a total of about $ 3 billion.

“Many large companies continue to make money through pandemics, and in the process they have taxpayer subsidies in their pockets,” Pallas told the Victorian Parliament.

“We are calling on these companies to help achieve generational reform after one of the most psychologically burdensome years of our lives.”

This initiative addresses one of the Royal Commission’s 74 recommendations on Victoria’s mental health system. Approximately $ 1.5 billion will be spent to establish 20 of the recommended 50-60 regional mental health hubs, and $ 954 million will replace 22 existing services.

The state budget also reveals how Victoria was dealing with the recent collapse of the pandemic blockade, and the state is expected to run a $ 11.6 billion deficit in fiscal year 2021-22, predicted 131. It decreased from 100 million dollars.

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February 14, 2021 Overview of an empty street in Melbourne’s central business district, Australia (Wayne Taylor / Getty Images)

Over the next few years, the deficit will shrink to $ 3.8 billion (2022-23) and $ 2.1 billion (2023-24), achieving a surplus of $ 1.1 billion (2022-23) and $ 3 billion (2024-25). It is predicted. ..

The budget is also based on estimates that future outbreaks of the pandemic are local and can be contained.

The Victoria State Government has also announced a series of new taxes for real estate investors and homebuyers to handle state debt, including property tax increases and millions of dollars of real estate stamp duty. ..

Jennifer Westacot, CEO of the Australian Business Council, was critical of the new mental health tax, saying it set a “dangerous precedent.”

“We welcome the much needed mental health reforms to address systematic problems and the catastrophic effects of long and unbalanced blockades, but by taxing work some Victorians. The approach of getting people in the morning to fight others makes everyone a loser, “she said. In the statement..

“These are the same employers who left workers on the books during the blockade for more than 100 days, paid them when they couldn’t work due to government decisions, and continued to perform services. “She added.

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The cafe on Degraves Street in Melbourne opened on June 1, 2020 to serve customers in Melbourne, Australia. (Darrian Traynor / Getty Images)

Tim Piper, Australia’s largest employer’s organization, acknowledged the importance of mental health, but said additional taxes were a concern.

“Payroll taxes associated with mental health funding have a direct impact on a small percentage of companies, while curbing employment growth and adding additional costs to doing business in the state.” He said. In the statement..

“The reliance on additional stamp duty partially reflects the lack of revenue options facing states and territories,” he said, criticizing stamp duty as an inefficient tax. I warned that there are many cases.

Meanwhile, Mental Health Victoria CEO Angus Clelland is the “single biggest investment” in mental health for any Australian government, surpassing the federal government’s $ 2.3 billion commitment to this sector last week. Praised.

“Today’s budget is the culmination of over 20 years of advocacy work by individuals, caregivers, families, peak body and mental health professionals across Victoria,” he said. In the statement..

“We often refer to mental health as poor health care. The funding and subsequent budgets announced today will address this historic imbalance.”