The NSW state budget has been planned to push the state towards a surplus, bring back confidence and help deliver to businesses reductions in red tape, tax relief and infrastructure investment.

This positive news has been welcomed by the Australian Retailers Association given that the forecast for the 2011-12 financial year is a $718 million budget deficit.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the focus on managing government debt levels will benefit the economy and enable tax relief in the long-term.

“Other items which will be positive for the retail sector are investment in training and attracting jobs in NSW, increasing productivity through the supply chain, $2.5 million dollars for NSW Business Advisory Services and various other funding for programs all tailored to meet the contemporary needs of small businesses,” he said.

“Importantly, the budget includes a $9 million commitment for tenancy advice and advocacy, which will assist both consumers and retailers to deal with tenancy issues in an environment where tenancy is a key concern and many retailers are struggling with high rents and differing tenancy agreements.

“The ARA also welcomes the announced infrastructure, transport and roads investment which will assist retailers by better driving business activity.”