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Queensland state budget increases taxes on miners, big business to fund new hospitals and mental health services

Ben Smee and colleagues report in The Guardian (21.6.21) on the release of the Palaszczuk government's 2022-23 budget, with Treasurer Cameron Dick increasing the state's tax revenue to fund expanded health and hospital services.

'Queensland has announced plans to increase royalties on coal companies amid record profits, as surging prices for fossil fuels help fund investment in the state’s healthcare sector.

'The Queensland treasurer, Cameron Dick, said the state would record an unexpected $1.9bn surplus in 2021-22 off the back of surging prices for fossil fuels, although a small deficit is forecast next financial year.

'The centrepiece of the budget is a $23.6bn investment in healthcare – an increase of $1.2bn, roughly 6% – that would include measures to hire 9,450 healthcare workers, build three new hospitals and add 2,200 new hospital beds.

'The state has also set aside $1.6bn for mental health services over five years, to be funded by a payroll tax levy applied to the largest 1% of businesses.'

'Pandora's box': experts say Queensland's windfall from coal royalties could set a precedent

Peter Hannam reports in The Guardian (24.6.22) on the state budget, focusing on the impact of the Palaszczuk government's increase in coal mining royalties.

'Queensland’s rewriting of royalty rules could tip billions of dollars more into its coffers this coming year, with an analyst saying it’s a missed opportunity for New South Wales that is still open to other states and the commonwealth to mimic.

'The Queensland budget this week imposed three trigger points for higher mining royalties, which the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) predicts will deliver an extra $15bn in 2022-23.

'Others put the take at between $6bn and $20bn, depending mostly on coal prices - far more than the budget forecast of $1.2bn over four years.

'The director of consultancy Climate Energy Finance, Tim Buckley, said the bold move by the state’s treasurer, Cameron Dick, showed the steps governments could take to share the benefits of soaring commodity prices – driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – at a time of rapidly rising costs of living.'


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