Fighting for Tasmania to help fund our essential services

Michael Ferguson, Treasurer

The Rockliff Liberal Government continues to fight for the Tasmania’s fair share of GST.

Treasurer Michael Ferguson today attended the Council on Federal Financial Relations with fellow Treasurers from the Australian, state and territory Governments.

The most important matter on today’s agenda was a discussion on the future of the GST No Worse Off Guarantee.

GST No Worse Off Guarantee payments are critical to Tasmania’s finances, and represent approximately $324 million in revenue to the state over the Budget and Forward Estimates. This is equivalent to 85 per cent of total expenditure on Tasmania’s ambulance services.

The Treasurer said that whilst the discussion was respectful, it was disappointing that the Australian Government is not prepared to provide state and territory governments with the necessary certainty to confidently continue to plan for the delivery of essential services and infrastructure.

“Without this certainty, states and territories cannot have constructive discussions on other issues of importance, such as health funding and NDIS reform,” the Treasurer said.

In 2018, the then Opposition Leader Bill Shorten stated that in supporting changes to the GST arrangements to benefit Western Australia for political purposes, it was Federal Labor’s position that no state should be worse off.

Former Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said: “we also want to see a guarantee for the people of Tasmania, New South Wales and every other state and territory, that they won’t be worse off”.

Treasurer Michael Ferguson said today, State and Territory Treasurers were united in calling on Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers to permanently honour the Labor Government’s commitment on the GST No Worse Off Guarantee.

“This strong collective position shared by all state and territories that the No Worst Off Guarantee should continue is a clear message to the Australian Government,” the Treasurer said.

“Our Government has consistently raised concerns with the new GST distribution arrangements with the Federal Labor Government and argued the new arrangements will embed inequality between the states.

“Federal Labor supported the continuation of the Guarantee when in opposition, it’s now time the Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer stand by those statements.”

The Rockliff Liberal Government is doing what matters for all Tasmanians by fighting for the State’s fair and equitable share of the GST revenue.

“We will always fight for our fair share of GST – unlike Rebecca White, who is too busy shoring up her own position while giving the Albanese Government a free pass on protecting Tasmania’s revenue.”

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