Steve Irons MP Federal Member for Swan

WA gets Fairer share of GST

MEDIA RELEASE

05 July 2018

The Turnbull Government is delivering on its promise to fix problems in the system used to share the revenue from the GST leaving Western Australia and all other states and territories better off.

Steve Irons MP said this will be the first time real changes have been made to fix problems in how the GST is shared since the GST was introduced almost 20 years ago.

“Nobody envisaged the distribution would drop so low like it did here in WA and it’s time we got on and fixed it,” Mr Irons said.

“Western Australians know that the system was not working, and that volatility was undermining the ‘fair go’ objective of sharing GST between the states and ensuring all Australians access essential services.”

“The Turnbull Government has developed a plan that is a real, long-term solution, rather than a political quick fix.” Mr Irons said. The proposal will involve transitioning to a new HFE system over eight years from 2019-20 in a way that is fair, reasonable and sustainable, and that will ensure Western Australia is left financially better off.

To assist with the transition to the new system, the Commonwealth would provide short-term funding over the three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22 to ensure that no State receives less than 70 cents per person per dollar of GST. WA is expected to be the only State with a relativity below 0.70 during this time.

“Importantly, this funding would be untied, meaning WA would be able to spend it as they see fit to deliver services including schools, hospitals and infrastructure. This is fair way of ensuring WA gets the services it needs.” Mr Irons said.

The Turnbull Government will now consult with states and territories to ensure the transition works. “Western Australians should be congratulated for persisting with the case for reform. I am proud to be part of a Government that has a plan to make the system fair and deliver more funding for essential services for all Australians.” Mr Irons said.

ENDS

Media Contact: Steve Irons MP: Amber Newton 08 9355 0099 | amber.newton@aph.gov.au

Steve Irons getting back our GST

Prior to this announcement, Steve Irons has been effective in making sure the
Turnbull Liberal Government’s GST top-up payments to WA go directly to projects in
Swan.

– 2017-18 Budget $226 million WA GST top-up payment
$68.8 million for grade separation of Roe Highway/Kalamunda Road in High
Wycombe.

– 2016-17 Budget $490 million WA GST top-up payment
The full $490 million allocated to the Forrestfield Airport Link with 3 new train
stations being built in the electorate with fast connections to the city in
Redcliffe, Perth Airport and High Wycombe.

– 2015-16 Budget $499 million WA GST top-up payment
$45 million for the Roe Highway/Berkshire Road Grade Separation in High
Wycombe.

Background

Our preferred model involves moving to a new benchmark that will ensure the fiscal
capacity of all States and Territories is at least the equal of NSW or Victoria
(whichever is higher). Benchmarking all States and Territories to the economies of
the two largest states will remove the effects of extreme circumstances, like the
mining boom, from Australia’s GST distribution system.

In addition to moving to a new, more stable equalisation standard, the Government
also proposes to commit to put in place a ‘floor’ on the relativity any State can
receive. The Government will implement a floor of 70 cents per person, per dollar of
GST, below which no State’s relativity can fall, from 2022-23, rising to 75 cents from
2024-25. Given the formula is now based on a more stable benchmark, it is highly
unlikely relativities would move below the new floor.

No state will be financially disadvantaged as a result of moving to this new
benchmark. A fair and sustainable transition to a new equalisation standard will be
ensured, through an additional, direct, and permanent Commonwealth boost to the
pool of funds to be distributed among the states.

The Government’s interim response is available at:
https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2018-308096/

Contact Steve

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08 9355 0099 (Office)

08 9355 0199 (Fax)