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Turnbull must assure Tasmanians on GST today

·         Prime Minister has opportunity to provide certainty
·         Premier Hodgman has opportunity to ask for certainty
·         Turnbull’s sneaky and tricky “guarantee” means all essential services at risk
The only commitment Tasmania needs from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today is that he will not change the GST distribution system.
Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said it is fortunate the Prime Minister is here in Tasmania on budget day as it gives him the opportunity to finally provide the certainty Treasurer Peter Gutwein needs to produce a credible budget.  He needs to commit to not changing the current GST distribution system.
 Mr Bacon said any change to the GST distribution system will hurt Tasmania. 
“Every alternative model considered by the Productivity Commission in the draft report was shown to hurt Tasmania,” Mr Bacon said.
“The only question is by how much.
“If Mr Turnbull cannot answer these simple questions then Peter Gutwein’s budget will be ready for the shredder before the ink is dry.
 “Will Mr Turnbull commit to maintaining the current system of GST distribution or not?
 “If that commitment is not made the 2018-19 State Budget will be the least credible, least certain State Budget ever produced.”
 GST risks:
  • Any change to the current GST distribution system will rip millions of dollars out of our State.
  • Leading economist Saul Eslake has said Tasmania could lose up to $367 million in 2021-22.
  • Tasmanian Treasury said Tasmania could lose more than $600 million over the forward estimates.
“Treasurer Gutwein and Premier Hodgman have repeatedly ignored the warnings of their own Treasury and Saul Eslake,” Mr Bacon said.
“Responsibility for any change to the GST distribution system will be borne by those who have abjectly failed to take the risk seriously and stand up for Tasmania.”