At a meeting of state and territory treasurers, it was decided that they need a guarantee from the Government that the GST changes won’t hurt their revenue.
This comes despite assurances from the Government that the planned GST changes would not leave any state worse off, promising $7 billion in ‘top up’ payments while the new taxation model is introduced.
The changes to the GST come after several long-running complaints from states like Western Australia who felt they were unfairly disadvantaged by the old system.
Western Australia stands to gain the most from the GST changes, with Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull using it as a talking point in the lead up to the election before he was ousted by Scott Morrison.
Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas, said that all members at the meeting “agreed to the principle that we need these guarantees incorporated into legislation”.
Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, said that while he principally supported the GST carve up that he thought it was fair for the states to ask for a black and white guarantee.
Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison did a tour of Western Australian radio stations where he spoke about the highly contentious GST issue.
He pointed out that the drop in WA’s share of the GST after the mining boom was unfair and that the proposed changes were “super fair”.
He then said that Bill Shorten was “crab-walking” around the issue of the GST and said that until he saw the Labor leader “vote for my bill” that “Western Australians won’t have the certainty that they deserve”.
He did say that he was confident Bill Shorten would come around to supporting the legislation.