26 August 2017

Shorten offers new taxes, but no GST reform

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has failed all Australians by refusing to commit to structural reform of the GST, according to Western Australian Opposition Leader Mike Nahan.

Dr Nahan said WA Premier Mark McGowan had also let Western Australians down by failing to convince his Federal leader to join him, the Western Australian Liberals and the Federal Liberals to support structural reform of the GST.

“Mr Shorten’s proposal is not a solution to structural reform of GST but a political solution for his weekend visit to Western Australia,” Dr Nahan said.

"Bill Shorten thinks that increasing the federal tax take by $150 billion and introducing legislation to give Western Australia less than $2 billion will fix the problem we have with GST.

"He just doesn’t get it.

"We need structural reform because the problems besetting Western Australia at the moment and over previous years could well affect New South Wales or Queensland or Victoria in coming years.

"Bill Shorten is trying to play catch up with the current system of Federal GST top-up payments to WA. A system that was always designed to be an interim solution."

Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder said Mr Shorten was robbing Western Australia again.

"He has promised new taxes in WA of approximately $1.5bn per annum for the next 10 years and giving $1.6bn back to WA over two years. He claims it is fixing the GST.

"Does he think we are that gullible?

"Mr Shorten needs to take the politics out of the GST and agree with Turnbull to a floor," Mr Nalder said.

Dr Nahan said Western Australians had been expecting Mr Shorten to announce at a minimum a floor below which no state’s share could fall in the future.

"The other problem with Mr Shorten’s so-called fix is that he wants to control where the money goes,” Dr Nahan said.

“Other states have control over their GST share, but Mr Shorten wants to control ours.

"The Premier needs to show leadership and tell Mr Shorten to go back to the drawing board and come back with a response that addresses the fundamental problems with the distribution of the GST throughout Australia.

"This problem can only be be fixed for the long term through structural reform; to address Western Australia’s problem in the short term and ensure the people of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria will not experience the same issues in the long term."

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