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Premier backflips on GST, will support change to the distribution method

  • Hodgman blows two opportunities to rule out supporting GST distribution changes
  • Premier has failed repeatedly to stand up for Tasmania
  • Hodgman reveals significant backflip on his previous GST claims

Premier Hodgman has today refused to rule out supporting changes to the GST distribution method, placing Tasmania at significant, long term risk.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said as Premier Hodgman’s federal Liberal colleagues meet in Canberra today to decide Tasmania’s future GST share, the Premier has demonstrated his fundamental weakness in standing up to the Prime Minister.

“Premier Hodgman was today asked twice if he would rule out supporting changes to distribution and twice he refused,” Ms White said.

“That is a significant backflip from Premier Hodgman who has – over the past four years – tried to convince Tasmanians he would not support any change.”

In October 2014, Premier Hodgman said:

“We will continue to vigorously oppose any changes to horizontal fiscal equalisation.  It is a vital attribute and characteristic of our federal financial relations.  It provides fairness and ensures that all Australians, no matter where they live, can access reasonable standards of essential public services.” 

Any change to the GST would sacrifice the State’s ability to deliver a quality healthcare system, better schools, affordable housing, enough police on the streets and child safety.

“Short term top up payments would mean that the state would have to go to Canberra every year with a begging bowl to provide the services that Tasmanians rely on.

“Reduction in GST is the biggest threat to Tasmania in Premier Hodgman and Treasurer Gutwein’s house of cards budget – a fact that they both know but refuse to acknowledge just as they have refused to put up an adequate fight on behalf of Tasmanians.”