New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally says her government can win the state election despite voter satisfaction for the embattled Labor leader falling to -27%.
The latest Newspoll shows 57% of voters are dissatisfied with Keneally’s performance, with only 30% satisfied, as NSW gears up for what is tipped to be one of the most brutal election losses in Australian history.
Keneally said yesterday she will focus on two things in the lead-up to the March 26 election, one of which will be to challenge the policies of Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell.
“I will also talk about my vision for the future of NSW, one that continues its strong economic growth and one that continues its record low unemployment,” Keneally said.
It appears that Keneally doesn’t necessarily have the support of her party, with colleagues allegedly claiming they would have dismissed her if there had been more time before the election.
Labor’s election promises appear to be focused on households, with six out of eight major policies addressing families, health and safety.
A government spokesperson says in addition to the state’s AAA credit rating the small business sector has benefited from substantial tax cuts.
“The last NSW Coalition government ran deficits at every budget, leaving the state with $6 billion in debt and also raised taxes by $10 billion,” the spokesperson says.
“We’ve cut payroll tax twice in the last year to a new rate of 5.45%. This is down from 8% the last time the Coalition was in power.
“Our payroll tax cuts will save NSW businesses $180 million this year.
“We have also raised the payroll tax threshold so that under Labor 90% of NSW businesses do not pay payroll tax.”
The spokesperson says Labor also cut more than $400 million of red tape in the past year as another way to help businesses.
If the NSW Coalition is elected it has promised to establish a small business commissioner to serve as an advocate for the small business sector.
Describing small business as the “backbone” of the NSW economy O’Farrell said in a statement that small businesses need to have the confidence to invest, grow and employ people.
“We’re looking to get off the back of small business and out of their pocket through a positive, practical plan,” O’Farrell said.
The small business action plan includes:
- Cutting red tape with the introduction of a ‘one on, two off’ rule for new regulations and commitment to a 20% reduction in red tape in the first term of government.
- Reforming business licensing with improved online access to licence applications and renewals.
- Reducing legislative risk by subjecting all new regulations to a risk analysis that specifically outlines their impact, including cost, on small business.
- Regular consultation between small business and government.
- Ensuring NSW Government agencies pay bills within 30 days.
The Coalition promised to increase opportunities for international trade and export, and has called for more transparency in government.