Feds Refuse To Listen, Shortchange Victoria In Process

03 October 2018

Today’s meeting of state and territory treasurers has descended into farce with the new federal treasurer refusing to listen to the concerns of all states and territories around the distribution of GST.

The proposal by the Morrison Government to upend the existing system of how GST is distributed between states is one that takes money from all other states and territories and sends it to Western Australia.

It is a political fix, pure and simple, trying to shore up marginal seats in our nation's west.

Despite Scott Morrison claiming only a few months ago that no state would be worse off, the now PM and new treasurer refuse to back that commitment into legislation.

The Commonwealth's proposal is based on eight-year economic projections, which are adventurous at best.

Minor variations to the GST relativities used in the Commonwealth scenario – say an increase in mining royalties in WA, or a fall in property tax revenues in NSW and Victoria – could see Victoria lose between $480 million to $940 million over eight years.

Scott Morrison will now seek to push legislation through without the agreement of the states, despite saying only months ago that he wanted any changes to be agreed to by all the states – and that he wouldn’t act unilaterally.

We are the fastest-growing economy in the nation, and since we were elected, no state has created more jobs than us. More than 370,000 jobs – the majority of them full-time – and a third of all the jobs created across the country.

Today’s latest move by the Commonwealth comes after they cut Commonwealth funding for Victorian hospitals by $201 million in 2018-19 alone.

Past performance is a good indicator of future behaviour and Victorians have every right to be concerned by the bullying tactics of this Morrison Government.

All states and territories stood united in calling on the federal government to live up to their ‘no worse off’ guarantee by amending the proposed legislation.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Any chance it gets – the Liberals in Canberra seek to short-change Victorians. Whether it's Abbott, Turnbull or Morrison, they're all the same.”

“Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg claimed that no state would be worse off – but won’t commit to putting that in legislation, showing how empty their rhetoric really is.”

“Scott Morrison can take out as many paid ads in WA papers as he wants – but it just confirms what his true motivation is, shoring up votes in the west.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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