Big losers in Dan’s ‘difficult’ budget

The latest budget of the Andrews government has been handed down in the Victorian parliament.

Victorians owning a second property look to be hit hardest in this year’s state budget.

Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down the budget in state parliament on Tuesday, showing a forecast increase in the surplus from $1bn in 2025-26 to $1.2bn the following financial year.

But net debt will also shoot up to $162.2bn and then $171.4bn in the same time period, in what Mr Pallas described as “the most difficult budget that I’ve had to frame.”

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas hands down the state budget in Parliament House on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

New Covid debt levies, aimed at raising $8.6bn by 2026-27, will also be introduced, hitting Victorians who own more than one property the hardest.

Part of that will see Victorians with more than one property paying a minimum $5000 over the next decade, as well as a $500 annual tax for investment properties with a land value between $50,000 and $100,000.

It’s hoped the new levies will help pay down $30bn of Covid debt by 2033, when the levies are due to end.

“This is the start of a new era, the post-Covid era for the state and its finances,” Mr Pallas told parliament.

“While our kids will of course have memories of the trauma that was the Covid years, they won’t necessarily have to be paying for that trauma for the rest of their lives.

“These measures are temporary, they are targeted and above all they are responsible.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Picture : NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly

Business with payrolls of more than $10m will also pay a 0.5 per cent levy, and businesses with payrolls exceeding $100m will pay an extra 0.5 per cent, aimed at raising $3.9bn over four years.

However, 26,000 businesses are expected to have their payroll tax cut when the tax-free threshold is lifted to $900,000 and then $1m over the next two years.

Members of the Victorian parliament read the budget papers as Tim Pallas presents it to parliament. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Other key budget measures include:

  • $4.9bn over healthcare expenditure

  • Economic growth expected to fall to 1.5 per cent next financial year, down from 2.75 per cent this year

  • $400m on another $250 Power Saving Bonus to every household

  • $58.2m for the installation of 100 neighbourhood batteries

  • $32.5m to Visit Victoria to boost tourism

  • $618m to build nine new schools

  • $235m package for students with disabilities

  • $51.4m public library funding

  • $650m for the Melton train line upgrade

  • $6.6bn to maintain the state’s roads over the next decade

  • $677m in ongoing flood recovery

  • $36.5m for bushfire service funding

  • $134m for access to housing and homelessness support

  • $23m for free women’s sanitary products in 700 locations

  • $153m for 20 new women’s health clinics

  • $25.9m for roadside drug and alcohol testing

  • $35m boost for the Jobs Victoria Mentors program