THE SECRET GST DISTRIBUTION REPORT
Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018
Another critical issue that the government is failing to act on is the GST distribution report. The Productivity Commission handed its report on GST distribution to the government on 15 May. The government has to table the report in parliament 25 sitting days after receipt. There will be only 15 sitting days between receiving the report and the date of the by-elections in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia that occur during the winter break.
So the question that Labor has for the Turnbull Government is: will the Turnbull Government release the report and assure residents in those states that they won't be worse off under a Turnbull Government? Tasmanians have a right to get the assurance that their fair share of the GST is safe. Without that assurance, $367 million of the state's revenue is at risk.
The Prime Minister has been called on to make an unequivocal assurance that Tasmania's fair share of the GST is safe. The fact is that if Tasmanians want to ensure that their state's share of the GST is safe, the only way of guaranteeing that is to vote for Justine Keay in Braddon. Justine is a strong defender of the interests of Tasmanians. Labor's policy doesn't change the GST formula.
The Prime Minister, when he visited Burnie, used weasel words and bleated all about the Liberal Party. Saul Eslake has warned that Tasmania could lose $367 million in just one year, based on the Prime Minister's previous comments. If Tasmanians have nothing to worry about, then the Prime Minister should release the report, commit to the principle of horizontal fiscal equalisation and guarantee Tasmania its fair share of GST.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra