News, media releases

Time for Gutwein to come out of hiding and face the tough Budget questions

  • Tasmania will be worse off by $367 million in 2021-22 Budget under Fed Liberal “guarantee”
  • Gutwein dodging media, leaves Budget questions for Ferguson
  • High of $2.4bn in election promises replaced by budget hangover

One week before he delivers the Budget, Treasurer Peter Gutwein needs to come out of hiding and address the genuine concerns raised by Labor and leading economist Saul Eslake about the massive potential cut to Tasmania’s GST share.

Federal budget papers show a looming $367 million cut to Tasmania’s annual GST revenue by 2021-22 if the Prime Minister only guarantees that the state will not be worse off in cash terms.

Mr Eslake suggested the Liberals should produce a supplementary budget forecast based on the assurances by the Prime Minister.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said Mr Gutwein needed to come out of hiding, face the media and address the GST cut.

“The Treasurer has been conspicuous in his absence from the media for the past fortnight while Labor has been fighting for Tasmania’s share of GST, leaving it to Michael Ferguson to address the media,” Mr Bacon said.

“The level of uncertainty surrounding this year’s budget revenue is unprecedented and Tasmanians deserve to hear from the Treasurer on how he will cope with a massive hit to the state’s finances.

“How does Mr Gutwein intend to deliver a truthful or genuine State Budget next week when there is no certainty around Tasmania’s share of GST revenue beyond 2019?

“We have seen the Australian Treasury refuse to even try forecast GST distributions within this environment, yet Peter Gutwein is proposing to produce a budget that is reliant on this money for 40 per cent of its revenue.

“Mr Gutwein must face up to this fact while also trying to find money for the Liberals’ $2.4 billion in election promises.

“Is Mr Gutwein absent from the media because he’s still sleeping off the election spending spree hangover?”

 

Peter Gutwein’s reform failings

  • Failed to achieve an underlying budget surplus
  • Massive uncertainty over future GST distributions
  • Failure to deliver statewide planning scheme
  • Local Government Reform: Spent millions not achieving a single reform
  • TasWater Reform: Abandoned TasWater takeover after failing to make the case to the public
  • Only State not to gain decentralised public service jobs from Canberra, despite attempting to lobby for Launceston jobs